Cleverly shows mirroring in action, though the manipulation required may make sharing difficult.

MAMA BABY

A mother and child interact in familiar ways in Raschka’s latest, which uses unique formatting to stand out from the crowd.

Mama and baby face each other across the gutter on the first spread, and then the pages’ orientations change. Mama is still on verso, baby on recto, but now they are sideways if the book is traditionally oriented. To see each right side up, readers will need to turn the book first 90 degrees clockwise to see the adult right way up and then a full 180 degrees to likewise see the child. The design is clearly meant to emphasize the mirroring that occurs between parent and child as they interact: smiles; clapping; hiding behind hands and then “Peek-a-boo!”; “Pat-a-cake.” (Even the text is hand-lettered sideways.) One interaction near the ending may be too on-the-nose: On the mom’s side, musical notes appear and her eyes slide sideways. The next three spreads show baby alone, expression modulating from pouty questioning (“Mama?”) to surprise to an open-mouthed wail that brings Mama back. The baby’s “up up” appears before the book returns to a traditionally oriented spread of the two cuddling. Raschka’s watercolors are very simple, showing each from midchest up. Mama has dark hair and slightly darker skin than blond Baby’s fair skin and light hair; both have pinkish spots on their cheeks and large, pouty lips.

Cleverly shows mirroring in action, though the manipulation required may make sharing difficult. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9060-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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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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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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