These age-appropriate, everyday dramas will promote effective problem-solving.

PACIFIER

From the Pull and Play series

In this French import, toddler animals are encouraged gently to rethink pacifier use in various settings and situations.

A crocodile parent suggests to their hatchling to leave the pacifier at home so it doesn’t get lost; a kitten learns her speech isn’t clear with the pacifier in her mouth; and a bear cub intent on playtime is ready to throw away the pacifier. These episodes are presented in a combination of simple narration and dialogue between children and parents (there are no other caregiving relationships depicted) who seem to have read all the child-rearing books. A panel on the recto is split in two, and a tab slides out to model the before and after of the child relinquishing the pacifier, with some positive reinforcement at the bottom of the page. The sturdy tabs can be a little stiff, and caregivers may need to assist little ones with pulling. The similar title Sharing follows the same formula and format to demonstrate best-case scenarios around sharing. While these tear-free storylines may be unrealistic, caregivers will appreciate the constructive approaches modeled. Bedouet presents cartoon animals with rounded lines against solid backgrounds; there are no sharp edges in either the narratives or the art. In both titles, families represented are crocodiles, kangaroos, monkeys, bears, and cats.

These age-appropriate, everyday dramas will promote effective problem-solving. (Novelty board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-2-40802-461-1

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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