When separated from its purported goals, the book is a fine addition to toddler shelves.

READ REVIEW

BATHTIME

From the Pull and Play series

A pull-the-tab book about the trials and tribulations of bathtime.

On each page of this English translation of a French board book, an animal parent prepares their child to take a bath in a Western-style bathroom. On many pages, the child resists the bath, but with one pull of a sliding tab, readers see the parent-child couple overcoming whatever hesitation may have originally existed. While the book’s back cover claims that the text’s goal is to “reassure” children about taking a bath, the book itself is too simplistic to accomplish this goal on its own, presenting only one conflict per page and leaving it up to caregivers to help readers understand how the character’s fear, doubts, or stubbornness were allayed. Some of the strategies—such as making a hat out of bubbles to counteract fears of getting one’s hair washed—are useful for young families, while others—such as splashing water on each other to test the temperature—are unlikely to translate to real life. Furthermore, while the book alternates between mothers and fathers giving baths, the animals being bathed are all referred to using male pronouns, thereby limiting what could have been a wide array of gender diversity. For children, however, the tabs are fascinating and fun, and the colorful illustrations and simple dialogue-driven text lend themselves to an entertaining read-aloud.

When separated from its purported goals, the book is a fine addition to toddler shelves. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40801-282-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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