A simple and approachable introduction to churchgoing from a child’s perspective.

Various children from diverse families participate in church activities as a Q&A text encourages readers to lift flaps.

An Asian-presenting child with pigtails stands in a bedroom, and the narration asks: “It’s time for church! What will I wear?” Little fingers can then open the closet door to select the appropriate Sunday-best outfit. This pattern is repeated on the subsequent 10 double-page spreads, with a brown-complexioned preschooler packing a Bible in a knapsack (the flap is the flap of the bag); families gathering at the titular church door, which readers can open; and a Sunday school teacher reading a Bible story to a racially diverse group of tots (the flap is one of its pages). The flaps are relatively sturdy, but they are difficult to pry open on the first attempt and have pointy, sharp corners. Often the flaps represent actual doors or lids, such as the top of the plastic container holding Sunday school arts-and-crafts supplies, but others don’t make much sense, like the flap with a picture of a contemplative white-presenting child that gets folded down to reveal a praying one. The theology is light here, as there is only one mention of God and none of Jesus, but the activities discussed will be familiar for the intended audience. The cartoon images depict a mostly generic, nondenominational setting, but there is a kneeler visible from one of the pews, which not all Protestant groups use.

A simple and approachable introduction to churchgoing from a child’s perspective. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12769-8

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020


A joyful celebration.

Families in a variety of configurations play, dance, and celebrate together.

The rhymed verse, based on a song from the Noodle Loaf children’s podcast, declares that “Families belong / Together like a puzzle / Different-sized people / One big snuggle.” The accompanying image shows an interracial couple of caregivers (one with brown skin and one pale) cuddling with a pajama-clad toddler with light brown skin and surrounded by two cats and a dog. Subsequent pages show a wide array of families with members of many different racial presentations engaging in bike and bus rides, indoor dance parties, and more. In some, readers see only one caregiver: a father or a grandparent, perhaps. One same-sex couple with two children in tow are expecting another child. Smart’s illustrations are playful and expressive, curating the most joyful moments of family life. The verse, punctuated by the word together, frequently set in oversized font, is gently inclusive at its best but may trip up readers with its irregular rhythms. The song that inspired the book can be found on the Noodle Loaf website.

A joyful celebration. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22276-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020


A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

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 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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