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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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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An acceptable and sturdy addition to the Easter basket for baby bunnies deemed too young to handle Dorothy Kunhardt's more...

FIVE LITTLE BUNNIES

Following on the successful Five Little Pumpkins (2003), Yaccarino teams with Rabe for bunnies.

The five pastel bunnies are cute enough, and the rhymes are accurate, if somewhat wordy for toddlers. But without a clear one-to-one relationship between the words and the pictures, it is not always clear which bunny is speaking and what is being counted. The bunnies, identified as first, second, and so on, hop around the pages instead of staying in a consistent order as the rhyme implies. Naming them by color might have been a better choice, but that would mean abandoning the finger-play counting-rhyme formula. The children who show up to hunt the eggs are a multicultural cast of cartoonish figures with those in the background drawn as blue and green silhouettes. Though the text on the back cover invites children to count the eggs, there is no hint as to how many eggs they should find. Neither the verse nor the pictures provide counting assistance. The youngest children will not care about any of this; they will be content to point out the different colors of the bunnies and the patterns on the eggs.

An acceptable and sturdy addition to the Easter basket for baby bunnies deemed too young to handle Dorothy Kunhardt's more satisfying but fragile classic, Pat the Bunny. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-225339-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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