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Fresh, fun, and funny.

A decidedly cheeky first-word book.

Little Sam is the adored child of Mama and Papa. She also has a doting grandmother and a friendly neighbor named Mr. Theotopolous (whose surname suggests Greek heritage and whose light-brown complexion is darker than Sam’s light-skinned family). Everyone cheers Sam on as she achieves various milestones, and they anxiously await her first word. To humorous effect, they also each try to coach her so that word is Mama, Papa, Nana, and Mr. Theotopolous, respectively. They get so caught up in that coaching that they miss the fact that Sam is already saying her first word, repeatedly: “Poop.” Unfortunately, this punchline is given away on the book’s cover, which undermines the humor on a first reading, but this is the only misstep in a book that otherwise gets its pacing just right. Hatam’s crisp, bright illustrations capture Sam’s efforts to get the grown-ups’ attention as she finally resorts to stripping off her soiled diaper and declaring “POOP!” one final time. Like many a toddler, Sam stands proudly naked, the cartoon style presenting a frontal view of the child without anatomical detail. A clever ending reveals Sam’s second word as the cherry on top of this sweet toddler story.

Fresh, fun, and funny. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-45244-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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

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 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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From the Peppa Pig series

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

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. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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