Crawling babies will pause to enjoy this story again and again, and older toddlers, perhaps remembering their own crawling...

GO BABY! GO DOG!

It may be hard to believe just eight words can make a complete and exciting story, but that’s all this board book needs.

Repeated reading of simple text is how children first learn to read. Kennedy seems to understand this and has created an ideal package for early success. A series of two word exclamations and expressive drawings combine to tell the story of a diaper-clad tot’s evolving relationship with a skeptical hound dog. “Go baby / go baby / go baby. // Go dog.” The baby crawling across a blue floor shows up clearly against a bright yellow wallpaper decorated with simple light blue flowers. The only additions to this pleasing design are a cushy blue chair the baby peers under (“Look baby”) when the dog disappears through a doorway leading to a room with light blue, diamond-patterned wallpaper. Baby’s cries bring the dog back. Spoiler alert: Baby and dog end up sound asleep, together: “Nice baby. / Good dog.” The simple repetitive text shows up clearly when placed against the yellow wall. The text set against the bottom blue stripe is yellow so it stands out boldly too. Baby has pale skin and red hair; dog is white with brown splotches.

Crawling babies will pause to enjoy this story again and again, and older toddlers, perhaps remembering their own crawling escapades, will want it read repeatedly too. They may even read it to their dogs. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8075-2971-3

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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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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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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