Morris is one well-intentioned papa, though this sentimental message would be better served by a subtler storyline.

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MOLE'S BABIES

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery for this nervous first-time dad.

Expectant parents Mini and Morris Mole prepare for the blessed event. Mini knits while Morris anxiously studies the happy babes in the barnyard, hoping he can replicate their daddies' natural behaviors. His attempt to hop like a bunny catapults him one-pawed over the toadstool, and he falls flat on his snout—and so on. Unable to copy any animal, Morris appears to be a natural klutz. Repeatedly, Mini gently redirects Morris after confirming that he is uninjured. “Good,… because our babies are on their way!” Morris' final fall is greeted with silence, and upon investigating he finds Mini cuddling their three new family additions. Morris' earnestness is endearing. Varied typography highlights word choices; decorative hearts surround "hand-lettered" verbs like “flapping” and "splashing." Panels reveal shifts in time and movement. There's an unforced fluidity in the parents' nonverbal communication. Unfortunately, the couple's good intentions are undermined by the simplistic slant. “Our babies only need love,” the proud mom explains.

Morris is one well-intentioned papa, though this sentimental message would be better served by a subtler storyline. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58925-108-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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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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