A delightful addition to the new-baby shelf.


Cats Minouche, Pasha, and Amir share a home with Myriam and Sami, who are expecting a new baby.

Black Pasha looks serious and “regal”; gray tiger Minouche is shy, possibly because she was rescued from the streets; and Siamese Amir is interested in everything. They play and lounge around all day in the rooms and around the courtyard of the traditional Arab house where they live. Middle Eastern design is ambient around them, in furniture, decorations, and the family’s clothes. Slowly, the cats’ favorite place to snuggle, Myriam’s belly, starts to expand. One day, it even moves! After their guardians disappear for a few days and come back with a pretty basket, the three cats are super curious. What could be inside? In one particularly comical spread, a curious Amir stands on the head of a grumpy-looking Minouche, trying to peer through the keyhole into the room where Myriam has taken the basket. When the door is finally opened, a close-up painting of the pets looking dubiously at two pudgy feet clearly communicates how they are feeling about the newcomer. Grandma reassures them: “Say hello to Alya.…Myriam will take care of you and the baby too. To love is to share.” The cats remain nervous but eventually grow “calm and confident again,” and even find new pastimes that include the baby in their “life full of love and tenderness.”

A delightful addition to the new-baby shelf. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-2-89802-236-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: CrackBoom! Books

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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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 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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An upbeat Easter outing with a beloved character.


From the Little Pookie series

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. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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