A smartly paced and sweetly drawn story for little readers.

BLACK CAT & WHITE CAT

Black Cat and White Cat look for a place to play.

Black Cat lives in a white house, and White Cat lives in a black house. Whenever one tries to visit the other, it disappears. So off they go in search of a new, colorful place to play. The graphics are both high-contrast simple and sophisticated, challenging readers to spot where each cat’s silhouette blends into the background, fusing with negative space. This tale of friendship and play is perfectly aimed at young readers just starting to grasp narrative threads but not quite ready for full-blown stories yet. The board book’s similarities to Silvia Borando’s Black Cat, White Cat (2015) should be noted, but only children’s-book enthusiasts will do a double take. Little readers will adore the clean-cut illustrations and sharply contrasted compositions that burst with color at the book’s end. And who can’t love these little guys? They are adorable as they romp and play.

A smartly paced and sweetly drawn story for little readers. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 7, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3781-3

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

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 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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