Snazzy illustrations in the service of preachy, disappointing text.


Not everything that looks yummy belongs in our tummies!

There are so many genuinely yummy foods in the world, like ice cream, milk, doughnuts, and watermelon. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of things that may look yummy—such as crayons, coins, sand, and Band-Aids—but that just don’t taste very good. In this book, the loosely patterned text classifies images as “yum,” “yummy,” or “yuck,” elucidating for children the difference between what looks good and what actually tastes good. Overall, “yummy” foods tend to have a higher sugar content than those labeled “yum.” The simple, clean illustrations feature a cool palette of colors and whimsical designs that are perfect for very young readers. Unfortunately, the text lacks the same age appropriateness. The language is often too sophisticated for small children, using phrases like “you’ll immediately regret it” and “looks can be deceiving” that seem meant for the adults reading the book aloud rather than the children listening to it. Even more problematically, the book’s attempts at tongue-in-cheek humor often end up sounding preachy, as the narrator admonishes young children for the developmentally appropriate—albeit gross and often terrifying—pattern of exploring the world with their mouths. In particular, a page that suddenly features instructions on how to properly wash hands is a non sequitur that feels more like a lecture than an organic place for the story to go.

Snazzy illustrations in the service of preachy, disappointing text. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-3-7913-7405-5

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Prestel

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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As bright and bold as the holiday it celebrates.


An excited little one celebrates Easter.

The Easter Bunny is on its way, and Patricelli’s one-haired tot is thrilled. He prepares for the holiday by painting eggs and making bunny ears. On the big day, he excitedly looks for Easter eggs while his parents watch. The bold, rounded illustrations catch the eye, with a wide range of colors used throughout. The author pays a little lip service toward education by showing primary colors combining to create secondary colors, but the book's main focus is the exuberance that comes with celebrating the holiday, particularly when the traditions are so new and exciting. The enthusiasm is infectious, and read-alouds will most likely lead to little ones’ looking to do some arts and crafts of their very own.

As bright and bold as the holiday it celebrates. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6319-3

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin.


Bunny hunts for carrots but finds noisy animal babies behind each flap instead.

“Bunny hops out of her burrow, / she’s looking for carrots to eat. / Can you help this fluffy friend / find a tasty treat?” The baaas, quacks, chirps, and horsey clip-clopping—activated by light as each of the first four big, shaped flaps lift—are gratifyingly loud and clear. All of the animal figures in the bright color pictures are intensely cute plush toys inserted into simple outdoorsy mixes of painted greenery and photographed flowers and bugs. Even the heaped carrots hiding behind the fifth and final flap are soft and fuzzy, though you’d never know that from the sound as Bunny hops on them (with a really loud boing) and chows down with crunches so comically amplified and rapid that caregivers too will laugh (at least the first dozen or so go-rounds). As no pressing of buttons is required to cue the sound effects, Bunny’s miniodyssey is suited to sharing at a slight remove with groups of toddlers as well as one-on-one. Batteries are replaceable, and there is (thankfully) an on-off switch on the rear cover.

Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin. (Novelty board book. 18 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4654-7853-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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