These pooches get a lot done in a day, and toddlers who follow along will effortlessly pick up some vocabulary to boot.

A DAY WITH DOGS

WHAT DO DOGS DO ALL DAY?

A ride through Richard Scarry territory with a canine cast.

Echoing Scarry’s larger-format panoramas, de Monfreid scatters nine doggy housemates over an encyclopedic series of scenes that are drawn in very simple cartoon style, decked out with identifying labels, and usually viewed from an elevated perspective. Between a morning “At Home” and a final “Night,” the dogs dress, go to town, to school, and the doctor’s; spend some time in the country on a farm; play games and sports in four seasons (on one double-page spread); stock up at the supermarket; and finally come back home for dinner and bedtime. Interspersed among these stops are encounters with the alphabet and numbers one to 11, plus galleries of land and sea creatures, fruits and vegetables, vehicles, and select occupations from “Vet” to “Cowgirl.” The dogs, all of assorted but mostly identifiable breeds, are indeterminate of age and, usually, sex. Aside from rare glimpses of a computer and a flat-screen TV, the world on display could be from Scarry’s era—except that (with a few slips: “Fisherman,” “Snowman”) the sexist language and ethnic stereotyping are absent.

These pooches get a lot done in a day, and toddlers who follow along will effortlessly pick up some vocabulary to boot. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-7765-7098-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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