Reassuring platitudes nestled among fanciful pictures—almost too sweet to be believed.

READ REVIEW

IF THERE NEVER WAS A YOU

A board book proclaims an adult rabbit’s unfailing love for their baby bunny.

Four rhyming stanzas, each spread over several pages, start by repeating the title phrase and then describe activities in a toddler’s idyllic life with a doting mama or grandma. There is no logical order to the scenes. Hanging laundry on a line is followed by tucking bunny into bed, telling jokes, and measuring baby bunny’s growth. Though the book’s padded cover and board pages make it suitable for toddlers, this bunny wins science fairs and joins soccer teams—activities more typical for school-age children. The busy, glossy illustrations are a mix of outdoor forest and domestic scenes decorated with mushrooms, mice, and whimsical furnishings. In most scenes the adoring adult bunny wears oversized spectacles, a polka-dot skirt, and a striped top with a lace collar. Baby bunny is distinguished by large eyes and green plaid overalls, with silly accessories to suit actions. On one page the adult bunny’s question “Who would do your greatest things, and / who would dream your dreams?” is paired with a picture of the two bunnies wearing astronaut helmets and riding a carrot rocket past planets. The black type used for the text is easy to find, set against paler spots in the crowded pictures. There’s no question it means well, but it hardly stands out on a very crowded shelf.

Reassuring platitudes nestled among fanciful pictures—almost too sweet to be believed. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64170-111-2

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Familius

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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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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