From the Pull and Play series

This French import is both compassionate and useful.

Young animals learn life lessons in patience.

A young crocodile learns to wait while his sister plays with a toy airplane; a little bunny learns self-control on a long train ride; and a bear cub is hangry for dinner. Resolving the minidramas in six lines of text, caring parents help the children deal with their restlessness with Mr. Rogers–esque techniques, such as empathy, redirection, positive distraction, time management, and positive reinforcement. On the verso of each double-page spread, a child expresses their dissatisfaction solely through dialogue. On the recto, the grown-up suggests a coping strategy and, underneath, an image appears of the pair in the throes of the emotion. This illustration is split down the middle, and a panel slides out via pull-tab to reveal the resolution, with the denouement described below. While the tabs are sturdy, they are a bit stiff, and caregivers sharing this offering with their youngsters may need to assist with the reveal. The final spread appears to be a preschool or a day care, and little critters are being picked up by their corresponding grown-ups after their teacher praises them for their patience. The graphically close to simple art presents simplified scenes with boldly colored, big-eyed characters set against muted backgrounds. The pairs presented here represent solely parental relationships; there is no depiction of other types of family configurations. While some of these situations seem a bit too perfect, the lessons here are direct, and the playful pull-tabs will make them easy to digest.

This French import is both compassionate and useful. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-2-40801-994-5

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020


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

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 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016


From the Little Pookie series

An upbeat Easter outing with a beloved character.

Pookie celebrates Easter with a play date and holiday activities.

Pookie’s friend Bean, a gray puppy, comes over for Easter fun that includes lots of bouncing around and egg decorating. After Bean goes home, Pookie gets excited about the Easter Bunny’s arrival and goes to sleep dreaming of a large chocolate egg. Like the other Pookie books before it, this one is told in rhyme from the perspective of a loving grown-up addressing the little pig, which keeps the pace moving and makes for a great read-aloud. Bean and Pookie are realistically—and endearingly—childlike, from Pookie’s pronunciation of yellow as “lellow!” to the joyful mess they make while decorating eggs. There are plenty of sweet and festive touches, such as the bunny ears that Bean and Pookie (and Pookie’s teddy) wear and the daffodils painted on the end of Pookie’s bed. The illustrations include large, full-page images as well as smaller vignettes against solid backgrounds. One page shows Pookie and parent looking out the window at the moon, anticipating Easter’s spoils. For fans of Boynton and little Pookie, this Easter tale is exactly as expected: a touch of playfulness, a relatable story, and comfort in the familiar. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An upbeat Easter outing with a beloved character. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-66592-838-0

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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