Nothing novel in this one, but babies will love knowing just what to do with it.

WHAT IS BABY GOING TO DO?

From the Flap Flap series

Match gear and garments with babies’ activities, hidden beneath each flap.

Each page in this board book asks readers to predict “What is baby going to do?” based on a description and a picture of baby in the described garb. A flip of the flap reveals the baby in the logical matching locale: going sledding, splashing in puddles, taking a bath. The text is simple and direct, the Q&A formula repeated with each page turn, the question always the same. Visually echoing the textual repetition, the illustrations follow a format. Each dressed-up baby is featured against a solid color background. All of the babies have enormous, round heads, and their minimalist facial features are the same; variations are seen in skin color and outfit. Every baby has a different skin tone, and a baby of color is featured on the cover. Perdomo makes use of swaths of simple, bright colors. Details are reserved for the space beneath the flap, showing family pictures on a dining room wall or tiny illustrated picture books. The layout of this book is familiar—a boon for little listeners, who will be able to manipulate the large, thick flaps with ease and who will enjoy the confidence that predictability provides. Companion title What Is Mommy Going to Do? follows the same patterned format.

Nothing novel in this one, but babies will love knowing just what to do with it. (Board book. 0-2.)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-71125-059-8

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Words & Pictures

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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