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

OPEN THE CHURCH DOOR…

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 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies

DINOSAUR DANCE!

It's not the first time dinosaurs have been featured in a clever Boynton board book. It seems she—and we—can't get enough.

As her fans know, Boynton has a sly wit that respects the intelligence of her young fans and amuses the adults asked to “read it again.” In this book she introduces nine dinosaurs, each of which dances in a way that seems totally appropriate for that particular species. “The blue Stegosaurus goes SHIMMY SHIMMY SHAKE. / The red Brontosaurus goes QUIVERY QUAKE.” Drawing on her experience as a children’s musician, she writes a text that trips along like a song with rhymes that make sense but don't intrude. The illustrations, typical Boynton, reflect her greeting-card background. They are cartoonish but manage to capture the unique personality of each creature. The unnamed dinosaur narrator looks genuinely distraught at not being able to name the “tiny little dino” that “goes DEEDLY DEE.” Spoiler alert: the tiny little dinosaur is probably Compsognathus and would be about the size of a small chicken. Young dinophiles would be impressed if the dinosaurologists in their lives could supply that factoid, but alas, they will have to look it up.

This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8099-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.

TRICK OR TREAT, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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