A PARADE OF PUPPIES

A white child and parent go to the animal shelter, where they see all sorts of puppies.

Following the formula of their earlier A Carnival of Cats (2015), Ghigna and Bridgeman introduce a variety of breeds in rhyming verse and friendly, full-color pictures. After an opening setup page, the book presents on recto a framed picture of a winsome puppy face over text that conveys some key characteristics and reveals the breed in a full-bleed picture on verso of the next spread. “White coat. Black spots. / Friendly and smart. // A loyal Dalmation [sic] / who stole my heart!” Not all the clues are as apropos as this first example, however. While “a puppy / with little legs” can reasonably be concluded to be a dachshund, “a puppy, / furry and fun” could be just about anything but a Mexican hairless; the fact that it’s a “Golden Retriever / the color of sun!” seems arbitrary as well as awkwardly written. “Yellow and black” describes a beagle’s necktie rather than anything inherent to the breed; the pup is also called “regal,” which assists the rhyme but feels quite incongruous to the breed. Bridgeman’s illustrations are cute and appealing, but they are so stylized that not all the puppies look particularly puppylike. Adults wishing to introduce their toddlers to dog breeds would be better off seeking a book illustrated with photographs and written better.

Skip . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4598-0963-5

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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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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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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