A sweet look at becoming comfortable with ourselves, whoever we are.

MR. LION DRESSES UP!

When Mr. Lion gets invited to a party, Mr. Monkey’s suggestions for what to wear range from sophisticated to downright silly.

This board book about playing dress-up is like a game of paper dolls, with outfits that change with each turn of the page. The cover and all but the last page of the book are die cut with a hole in the shape of Mr. Lion’s face, which peers uncertainly through each picture and every outfit. Excited about Mr. Lion’s invitation, Mr. Monkey suggests, “You’ll have to get dressed up!” Mr. Lion, however, is skeptical. Undeterred, Mr. Monkey pulls several outfits from an unusually eclectic wardrobe. The ensembles appear dignified at first, becoming progressively more ridiculous, until Mr. Monkey is rolling on the floor in stitches. Counting boxer shorts, Mr. Lion models 14 different looks, including suit with top hat, evening gown, clown suit, a tutu, PJ’s, kilt, and bunny suit. Mr. Monkey finally admits, “No…none of those outfits is right, Mr. Lion, it would be best for you to go as…yourself!” The artwork is appealing, and while the beleaguered Mr. Lion’s face remains static throughout, his body and limbs move expressively as he awkwardly models each get-up. The zany outfits should have toddlers howling right along with Mr. Monkey.

A sweet look at becoming comfortable with ourselves, whoever we are. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 979-1-03631-357-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fun but inessential novelty, as much toy as book.

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE

A familiar song repackaged as a board book doubles as a finger puppet.

Many a caregiver has sung this refrain to a newborn or toddler, ignoring the decidedly sad lyrics of the original. Magsamen lays claim and sweetens it up. She uses only the chorus and changes the last line to “I’ll give you lots of hugs… / and kisses every day” instead of the expected “Please don’t take my sunshine away.” Her cheery artwork, reminiscent of applique, recalls the song’s country-music roots and is anything but sad. The pages are decorated with hearts and cuddly-looking caregiver-child animal pairs—foxes, skunks with sunny yellow umbrellas, bunnies, raccoons, and squirrels. The thick, heart-shaped pages include a circular die-cut hole through which readers might poke the smiling felt sun puppet attached to the back cover. A finger inserted from the back makes the sun wiggle and will capture even the youngest baby’s attention. The puppet feature does not obstruct the initial page turns, but when a toddler says, “Do it again” (as they doubtless will), quickly re-positioning the finger puppet is somewhat challenging.

A fun but inessential novelty, as much toy as book. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-30576-0

Page Count: 6

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more