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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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here.

PEEKABOO REX!

From the Boynton on Board series

The favorite game of toddlers gets a dino twist.

A large dinosaur tries to outsmart a smaller companion when the duo play peekaboo together. The big dino naïvely believes they won’t be noticed behind or under sundry hiding places, but the little pal always finds their playmate. Young listeners will giggle as the large dino attempts to outwit the little one, but in vain; in every instance, the diminutive, overalls-clad dino calls out a triumphant “Peekaboo!” How come? Is it because thin tree trunks and a potted plant can’t conceal the large dino’s frame? Do the big dino’s bold, flower-print shirts stick out a mile? Even when the large dinosaur attempts an aerial hiding place, they discover that ruse doesn’t, ahem, fly, nor does hiding in a crowd wearing a Where’s Waldo?–esque red-striped cap and T-shirt do any good. In a display of good sportsmanship, the big dino concedes at the end the game was fun. The youngest audiences, all of whom will have likely engaged in marathon peekaboo sessions themselves, will undoubtedly scramble to play again. Besides stimulating playtime, this adorable board book, expressed in lilting rhymes, boosts vocabulary development through the use of some common prepositions (behind, in) and adverbs (here, there, everywhere). The illustrations are sweetly engaging; the round cutout on the front cover invites youngsters to play peekaboo games with adult partners and others. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-66592-840-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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