YOU GO AWAY

Corey’s workhorse of a text has been addressing separation anxiety for almost 35 years, first illustrated by Lois Axeman in 1976 and then by Diane Paterson in 1999. Now it has been re-illustrated again and packaged in board-book format. In Fox’s bright, cheery illustrations, a bevy of children of varying ethnicities watch their adults go away and come back while experimenting a little bit on their own. While it is certain that very young babies can begin to grasp object permanence, whether this book is the best way to reinforce it is another question. Will even young toddlers be able to decode the actions and emotions depicted in static images, however effectively illustrated? It’s still an important book, but best used with older toddlers, not babies, as the format seems to imply. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8075-9440-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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A goofy story and zippy illustrations make this a nice-enough book but not a must-have.

HELLO KNIGHTS!

From the Hello…! series

In this rhyming board book, knights meet dragons and become friends after an almost-battle between the two is defused by silly undergarments.

Readers first meet the knights as they’re attending the queen and the king, marching, and guarding the castle. When dragons approach ready to fight, the knights halt the hostilities by raising the king’s underwear on a flagpole. Laughter ensues at the silliness, and the knights and dragons become friends when they start a party that readers find under a nifty, crenellated double foldout. Holub’s rhyming couplets are easy to read and have a rhythmic quality that feels almost like a classic epic poem. Dickason’s cartoony, detailed illustrations with comic-book influences will appeal to younger readers. The bold, brightly colored spreads illustrating “Hello dragons!” and “Goodbye dragons” stand out as the clearest and show admirable restraint. Details such as the king’s tattoos are a fun wink to adult readers. Preschoolers will giggle at the king’s undies flying high and will also feel relieved at the peaceful, happy resolution to the book’s climactic clash. While the story is a bit nonsensical—why do the knights decide to fly the underwear on a flagpole?—the overall silliness will appeal to younger readers who won’t mind the plot holes.

A goofy story and zippy illustrations make this a nice-enough book but not a must-have. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1868-4

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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A sweet but not essential book.

BALL

From the Baby Unplugged series

A whole host of children presents a whole host of balls in this new installment in the Baby Unplugged series.

There are so many kinds of balls in this little board book. Big ball, shiny ball, game ball, plain ball, spot ball. And not all are necessarily balls. Some are round objects, like the snowball and the clay ball or the blueberry that is a “tiny ball.” Some balls are verb balls, like the “throw ball, / catch ball, / go ball, / fetch ball!” There is even a gotcha! ball that’s “not ball”—it’s a cube! And all these balls are being played with by an equally eclectic group of children. African-American, Asian, brown-skinned, and blond and brunette white children are all represented here in illustrations that are charming and clear but not particularly artful. It feels as though both author and illustrator are trying so hard to include so much that they’ve almost forgotten to have fun. It’s reminiscent of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish but without the spark that turns an OK book into a timeless classic. Best suited for young children who are already quite verbal.

A sweet but not essential book. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-936669-42-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: blue manatee press

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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