The seamless interactivity merits two thumbs up.

ANIMAL 1 2 3

Lifting flaps elevates this counting book above traditional fare.

The large, die-cut flaps extend the visual layout as animals count up from one to 10. While the text simply describes each animal, the striking digital designs and the repetitive sequence shine. Each animal type appears twice, once with the number-shaped flap closed and again, plus one, when it opens: “3 tall giraffes / 4 tall giraffes // 4 swimming hippos / 5 swimming hippos.” The second iteration of the text diminishes, like an echo, on the page. Each number-flap deftly conceals the additional animal until the flap is removed. A few animals peek out from behind the confines of their digit; the baby penguin hides behind the seven, and the bear creeps out from behind the five. The animals have surprisingly intent, googly eyes that give them a friendly air; even the "wriggly snake" looks approachable, with his smiling mouth and anthropomorphic eyes. Companion Animal Spots and Stripes shares the same large format, alternating between stripes and spots in a steady pattern as it builds.

The seamless interactivity merits two thumbs up. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0993-0

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers.

I LOVE YOU LIKE NO OTTER

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring through rhymed puns and sentimental art.

The title sets the scene for what’s to come: The owl asks the owlet as they fly together, “WHOO loves you?”; the kangaroo and joey make each other “very HOPPY”; and the lioness and cub are a “PURRRFECT pair.” Most of the puns are both unimaginative and groanworthy, and they are likely to go over the heads of toddlers, who are not know for their wordplay abilities. The text is set in abcb quatrains split over two double-page spreads. On each spread, one couplet appears on the verso within a lightly decorated border on pastel pages. On the recto, a full-bleed portrait of the animal and baby appears in softly colored and cozy images. Hearts are prominent on every page, floating between the parent and baby as if it is necessary to show the love between each pair. Although these critters are depicted in mistily conceived natural habitats and are unclothed, they are human stand-ins through and through.

The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers. (Board book. 6 mos-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1374-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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