Despite the biological inaccuracies, it’s a whimsical and watery bedtime story.

READ REVIEW

BEDTIME FOR CRANKY CRAB

A tired crab resists going to sleep as “ocean friends” get ready for bed.

In rhymed couplets, the narration describes the ways various fish, mollusks, sea mammals, and more settle in for the night in ways both accurate (dolphins sleep with one eye open) and inaccurate (Mama sea star and Papa sea horse stay with their spawn). Cranky crab, however, displays some grouchy behavior and wants more playtime, along with another snack. In the end, crab mama is fed up and gives the young crab a kiss to send the little one off to sleep. The art has a smooth, watery look employing the pinks, purples, blues, and greens of the ocean at sunset. Each of the creatures has two oversized, round eyes, even creatures who have none (like sea jellies) or more than two (like oysters). In one particular funny picture, “little cranky crab” narrows bulbous eyes and frowns directly out at readers—no one will mistake this crab for cheery. While the plot has been seen before, there is some lovely language here—“Stingrays nestle, flip, and flap / To blanket in a sandy wrap”—and the titular crab will be a familiar figure to sleep-resistant toddlers.

Despite the biological inaccuracies, it’s a whimsical and watery bedtime story. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-35796-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: yesterday

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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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Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers.

SHARK BITE!

Poor Mark the shark can’t make any friends because all the other fish are frightened of his teeth.

When a crab pinches Mark’s tail, Mark gets angry and yells for all the fish to come out: “If you won’t be my friends, then you’ll be my dinner!” At this, a concerned octopus reaches out to Mark, accidentally tickling him and making him laugh. When the other fish hear the shark laugh, they realize he’s not actually scary after all, and suddenly, Mark has lots of fishy friends. Each double-page spread has a slider, allowing readers to move the shark’s teeth up and down by pulling a tab, making him cry, chomp, and laugh. Companion volume Dino Chomp, also featuring big biting teeth operated by sliders, tells the story of a T. Rex tricked out of his dinner. Both titles suffer from flimsy plots and generic art, depending on the interactivity of the moving mouths to draw kids in. Considering how satisfying it is to make those teeth go chomp, chomp, chomp, though, it may be enough.

Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0107-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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