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From the Pop-Up Peekaboo! series

Treats, with age-appropriate tricks.

Halloween surprises for diapered trick-or-treaters.

Despite invitations to look behind a “creepy cauldron,” then investigate an “eerie sound,” actual frights are not included as Smiley Ghost, Hootie Owl, and the three likewise iconic figures that pop up from beneath lifted flaps are simply made felt toys. The character or characters disclosed in one tableau feature as the protagonists of the next for a pleasing sense of continuity, and they all appear on the final page to discover Little Black Cat, who started things off, popping out of a jack-o’-lantern at the end. The fuzzy visitors are placed into stylized playscapes that feature a plastic pot, shiny jack-o’-lanterns, a basket of bright peppers, and the like. Pages and flaps are printed on heavy board stock—a good choice as, for many toddlers, peekaboo is a game that never gets old—and the pop-up elements, though lighter, are sturdy enough to survive the occasional grab.

Treats, with age-appropriate tricks. (Pop-up board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4654-5276-4

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead.

An Easter-themed board-book parody of the traditional nursery rhyme.

Unfortunately, this effort is just as sugary and uninspired as The Itsy Bitsy Snowman, offered by the same pair in 2015. A cheerful white bunny hops through a pastel world to distribute candy and treats for Easter but spills his baskets. A hedgehog, fox, mouse, and various birds come to the bunny’s rescue, retrieving the candy, helping to devise a distribution plan, and hiding the eggs. Then magically, they all fly off in a hot air balloon as the little animals in the village emerge to find the treats. Without any apparent purpose, the type changes color to highlight some words. For very young children every word is new, so highlighting “tiny tail” or “friends” makes no sense. Although the text is meant to be sung, the words don't quite fit the rhythm of the original song. Moreover, there are not clear motions to accompany the text; without the fingerplay movements, this book has none of the satisfying verve of the traditional version.

Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5621-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A swell read for the lighthearted. (Board book. 1-3)

The bunnies that inhabit Boynton’s colorful world put on a musical show for the other animals.

The rabbits have taken over the theater. They dance and sing, bragging about their long ears and twitchy noses for the pigs and chickens in the audience. The rhythmic chorus—“We are ten terrific rabbits and we like to dance and sing. / Ten terrific rabbits. We can do almost anything”—is mighty infectious. The author’s trademark wit and humor are on full display as the other animals dress up like bunnies and join the massive grand finale. The barnyard cast forms a musical troupe that amuses and delights. Adults will appreciate the clever sight gags, and small children will appreciate the tasteful boasting and empowering jingle. While it’s not as complete a vehicle for inculcating emergent language skills as many of Boynton’s other books, there’s no denying it’s got verve.

A swell read for the lighthearted. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7611-8060-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2014

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