A delightfully silly romp.

A gluttonous wolf eats several critters in this lift-the-flap offering.

A large black wolf with pointy ears and teeth looms over and stares down his prey on the recto of each spread. This page is also a gatefold; when it’s opened, readers see, spread by spread, a bird, a squirrel, a frog, and more travel into the wolf’s gullet, accompanied by the repeated refrain “CHOMP, CHOMP, down it went!” As the pages progress, the wolf’s belly grows larger after each subsequent meal. That all changes when the wolf consumes a hedgehog and the quills don’t agree with him. He soon vomits them up—all alive and well—and feels much better. Readers are encouraged to guess what the wolf should eat next from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, despite his carnivorous nature, likely in an attempt to get readers to follow suit. While predatory eating may not sound like the most natural topic for board-book–reading toddlers, Baruzzi’s cartoons are lighthearted and playful. The simply rendered characters in bold colors are alive with cheeky expressions, and the silly repeated refrain echoes many a children’s classic. The gatefold flaps are sturdy despite the thinner-than-typical board pages.

A delightfully silly romp. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-988-8342-05-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: minedition

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020



Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021


An upbeat early book on feelings with a simple storyline that little ones will respond to.

This simplified version of Diesen and Hanna’s The Pout-Pout Fish (2008) is appropriate for babies and toddlers.

Brief, rhyming text tells the story of a sullen fish cheered up with a kiss. A little pink sea creature pokes his head out of a hole in the sea bottom to give the gloomy fish some advice: “Smile, Mr. Fish! / You look so down // With your glum-glum face / And your pout-pout frown.” He explains that there’s no reason to be worried, scared, sad or mad and concludes: “How about a smooch? / And a cheer-up wish? // Now you look happy: / What a smile, Mr. Fish!” Simple and sweet, this tale offers the lesson that sometimes, all that’s needed for a turnaround in mood is some cheer and encouragement to change our perspective. The clean, uncluttered illustrations are kept simple, except for the pout-pout fish’s features, which are delightfully expressive. Little ones will easily recognize and likely try to copy the sad, scared and angry looks that cross the fish’s face.

An upbeat early book on feelings with a simple storyline that little ones will respond to. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-374-37084-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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