Decent but not extraordinary.

WHERE'S MY MOMMY?

Animal sounds, a barnyard setting and a search for a missing mommy are the elements that coalesce into this pleasing if not terribly distinguished tale.

Little Kitty wakes up from a nap and discovers that her mother is gone. After a fruitless search in the barn, she encounters a little calf and asks for help. The calf cheerfully instructs, “Listen to me carefully. / I’ll tell you what to do. / Whenever I want my mommy, / I just call MOO, MOO, MOO.” (While the baby animals all speak in rhyme, the rest of the narrative is conveyed in ordinary prose.) Of course Little Kitty summons the mommy cow instead of her own. The pattern continues with piglet, duckling and a colt. In despair, she curls up and begins to cry, “Meow, meow, meow.” As her cries get progressively louder, Julian provides a full bleed spread in warm hues featuring kitty’s mommy looking out from a wagon. “Quick as a wink, she came running.” The conclusion is more than a bit pat: “Little Kitty never forgot how to call her mommy again.” This sweet story will most likely appeal to toddlers and young preschoolers. With ample opportunities to join in on the animal calls, this is an easy choice for storytime or sharing one-on-one, but it is hardly the only farm/animal-noise book on the shelf.

Decent but not extraordinary. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4032-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

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. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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