Clarity and humor carry the day.

BABY PIG PIG WALKS

A piglet toddler learns to walk.

After growing bored, Baby Pig Pig learns to pull himself up, climb out of his playpen and walk out of the living room into the kitchen, all in the course of a day. Simple declarative sentences narrate the adventure. “He stood up and tried to walk. / He fell down.  // Baby Pig Pig tried again. / This time he did it!” In companion title Baby Pig Pig Talks, the piglet struggles to say his first word. While walking with his mama, stroller-bound Baby Pig Pig tries to repeat words his mother utters as she points things out to him, to funny effect. She says, “Cat,” and he says, “Duba.” In both titles, when Baby Pig Pig finally reaches his milestone (taking his first steps, saying “Mama”), he receives a loving hug from his mom. An older Pig Pig previously starred in several picture books by McPhail, and here, he employs the same droll pen, ink and watercolor cartoons in muted tones. While the porcine tot progresses through developmental stages much too quickly and parents may wonder about his mother’s parenting skills (she leaves him on his own for extended periods and introduces him to a hissing snake), McPhail understands the simplicity required for a story for the youngest toddlers.

Clarity and humor carry the day. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-58089-596-5

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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LLAMA LLAMA TRICK OR TREAT

From the Llama Llama series

In this board book designed for the littlest llama lovers, adorable-as-ever Llama Llama (Llama Llama Red Pajama, 2005, etc.) gets ready for some Halloween fun.

Dewdney’s characteristic spare, apt rhymes convey a lot of action in effortlessly readable fashion. A charming and simple introduction to Halloween and its associated activities, this title finds little Llama Llama choosing and carving a pumpkin, pouring candy into bowls, picking out a costume and, finally, trick-or-treating. The costume Llama Llama decides to don—pointy teeth and a black mask and cape—is enough to frighten and fool his friends but not readers, who will immediately recognize and smile at the silly little mini-Dracula. With Dewdney’s characters as expressive as ever, young readers will be drawn right into the holiday fun, eagerly anticipating which costume Llama Llama will choose and excited to see him scare his friends and score some candy at trick-or-treat. In the equally appealing companion title, Llama Llama Jingle Bells,the little fellow gets ready for Christmas, baking and decorating some cookies in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. This simple holiday title will win Llama Llama new fans, and old friends will want to add it and its companion to their collections. (Board book. 1-2)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-0451469786

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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A bright and friendly but no more than serviceable board book.

MY FIRST PEEK-A-BOO ANIMALS

From the World of Eric Carle series

Little readers play peekaboo with animals.

Carle’s iconic illustrations form the centerpiece of this simple lift-the-flap board book. Each double-page spread features an animal obscured by a flap (a solid block of trademark, textured Carle color) on one side and a four-line abcb stanza describing the animal on the opposite page. Readers are given hints about the hidden creature before they play peekaboo and lift the flap to reveal a monkey, horse, turtle, and more. “I’m a big cat, / but I don’t purr. / I’ve got black stripes / and bright orange fur.” Although most of the facts offered are scientifically valid, the ambiguously worded modifier for the monkey’s clue—“With my long tail, / I swing in the trees”—risks imparting the misinformation that monkeys suspend themselves from their tails. Carle’s illustrations are as recognizable to little readers as the characters on Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and the familiarity breeds appreciation. There’s nothing truly special or distinctive regarding the mechanics of this particular title, but the familiar look acts as a comfort food–esque motivation to get little ones’ attention.

A bright and friendly but no more than serviceable board book. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0105-1

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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