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

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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

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Overall, a delightful collection—priced so that it’s easy to buy several to give as gifts.

MY WONDERFUL NURSERY RHYME COLLECTION

Looking for an attractive compendium of nursery rhymes, songs, games, and lullabies all in one place? These 192 pages will deliver the goods, and then some.

The one-page introduction emphasizes the importance of nursery rhymes in the lives of young children: they engage the imagination, develop skills, and foster a love of reading and the spoken word. The contents are organized into six categories that bundle together songs, action rhymes, rhymes about animals, games, counting rhymes, and lullabies. The rhymes are set on full pages or double-page spreads and illustrated with an overall retro look in a mix of styles and media that incorporates thumbprints, collage, cut paper, childlike cartoons, dramatic use of display type, and more. “I’m a Little Teapot” features smiling faces on teapot and cup and a palette of pink, red, and teal, while “Old MacDonald” is rendered in a folk-art style that pops with bright yellows, reds, and greens. Instructions for the action rhymes and the games appear in teeny tiny print at the end of each respective chapter. The die-cut board cover is a plus, as it will stand up to repeated readings. Though each rhyme is illustrated differently, unfortunately and strangely, there is no credit or acknowledgement of the artists. While some of the graphic settings are so overdesigned they are difficult to read, there are so many rhymes that it’s easy enough to skip several and still feel sated.

Overall, a delightful collection—priced so that it’s easy to buy several to give as gifts. (Nursery rhymes. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62686-683-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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