I LOVE MY PUPPY

From the Love Meez series

A girl and her dog bond for life.

Mia and her puppy are the best of friends. The duo plays together, eats together, and snuggles together as recounted in rhyming verse with an abcb pattern. This board book is sprinkled with touch-and-feel elements throughout, underlining its cuddly themes. The tactile parts of the illustrations are very subtle, integrated cleverly into the illustrations, and little ones will enjoy discovering each one. Both on the cover and in the first double-page spread, the puppy is fuzzy; a red ball proves to be squishy plastic; the puppy’s “woof!” is spelled out in sparkly letters. Publishing simultaneously in the unfortunately named Love Meez series, I Love My Dinosaur covers similar ground with Patrick and his (actual) pet dino. Both board books put a hearty emphasis on love and affection toward one's pets. The simple illustrations are smartly composed, focusing on the children interacting with their pets at all times, though the protagonists of both books are Caucasian. Parents thinking of getting their little one a fluffy companion would do well to add this to their storytime stack.

A cozy read. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-83594-7

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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