Nonpedantic, age-appropriate, interactive approaches to common adult-child interactions make for a winner.



Pull-tabs easily slide to change the image on each page, providing the excitement in this gentle introduction to table manners.

Only the front-cover tab is notched, but the tabs are all in the same position so little ones quickly learn the process. On the front the picture changes from one of Little Kangaroo (who looks like a green bunny) playing while Mommy carries the plates to the table to another of both eating happily together. Each verso page introduces the situation with an exchange of dialogue: “Time to eat, Little Bear!” says his mother; “Oh, mushy food is fun to play with!” he exclaims. On the following pages Little Crocodile feeds himself, Little Kangaroo tries broccoli, Little Monkey sits at the table to eat pasta and fruit salad, Little Bear is rewarded with cake when he stops throwing food and waits patiently, and Daddy Cat uses the airplane “coming in for a landing” trick to feed rice to Little Cat. On the final spread, (without a tab) the child animals use their bibs to wipe their hands. The animals’ simple faces are expressive and the changes in their childlike emotions obvious. Brothers and Sisters, published simultaneously, uses the same animal families to suggest ways to resolve familiar sibling conflicts.

Nonpedantic, age-appropriate, interactive approaches to common adult-child interactions make for a winner. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-2-40801-594-7

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Cuddle up with this cheery board book to assure your babies that they too are loved.


Parental love has never been expressed so sweetly and believably.

In this sunny, bright world there is no ambivalence, much less postpartum depression—only positive possibilities. Church offers a model of good parenting, expressing the universal hopes all parents have for their children, that they “see the joy that life can bring.” Her focus is always on the child. The narrator mother is shown only at the very beginning, cuddling her newborn and lifting a sock-clad toddler above her head. On two other pages readers see the mother's hands reaching out to guide and encourage as the baby begins to crawl, stand, and run. The first-person narration might be confusing if the book is shared by a caregiver other than a mother. Toddlers will join in on the reassuring refrain “I will love you forever.” The pants-clad child is shown with tightly curled reddish-brown hair and light brown skin. The mother has a slightly lighter skin tone and straight hair. A faithful brown dog and well-loved teddy bear accompany the child on almost every page.

Cuddle up with this cheery board book to assure your babies that they too are loved. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-94200-3

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Pretty but ephemeral.


This board-book entry in the competitive-loving genre features silhouettes of animal parent-child pairs against variously colored nighttime scenes.

Each spread begins with the same question, presumably voiced by the child: “How much do you love me?” The parent’s response reaches for lyricism, not always successfully, and always includes a comparative statement. “I love you more than the moon’s glowing light,” says the parent rabbit in the first spread, while the elephant parent avows, “I love you more than all the stars at night,” in the second, establishing the rhyming pattern. Other animals include whales, monkeys, penguins, owls, wolves, and cats; each animal in the pair is labeled with the generic for the adult and the specialized term for that animal’s young for the child. Patane’s scenes are striking enough, the black animals and foreground settings making for striking contrast with the scenery in the background. Lloyd’s verse scans fine, but it can seem desperate, as when the owl responds, “I love you more than the fluffiest feathers,” in order to rhyme with the penguin’s “I love you more than snowy weather.” The book is weighted down by its final page, which holds a battery that allows readers to illuminate the moon on the cover with tiny LED bulbs when an icon is pressed. Despite this gimmick, this book feels little different from many of its peers.

Pretty but ephemeral. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4654-8016-3

Page Count: 18

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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