Even numerate children can count on being entertained by this tongue-in-cheek companion to The Lonely Beast ABC (2013).

READ REVIEW

THE LONELY BEAST 123

A day at the Beast’s house, from opening 1 curtain in the morning to counting 12 sheep that night.

The numbers—presented as digits in the top corner of each cartoon illustration—come with tap-activated vocalizations. Chimes are triggered by further taps on, for instance, 4 eggs to drop them one by one into a frying pan or 9 cakes that vanish with munching sounds. Though drawn as a shaggy silhouette with blinking yellow eyes, Judge’s “beast” is not so much scary as a deadpan comical figure. He farts in the bathtub when tapped, is splattered by one of the 7 birds in a tree overhead and dresses as 8 characters in a set of framed wall portraits. These offer greetings, from a cowboy’s “Howdy” to a hippie’s “Hey, maaan.” Aside from a button on the final screen labeled “Buy the book” that leads to the author’s webpage but not to a print version, the overall design, presentation and interactive effects work together seamlessly.

Even numerate children can count on being entertained by this tongue-in-cheek companion to The Lonely Beast ABC (2013). (iPad counting app. 2-4)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: James Kelleher

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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