A dream-come-true building book for babes in arms.


A picture book custom-built for construction-site–obsessed tots.

Guest’s rhyming text imagines a workforce of toddlers heading out to work at a construction site. Nakata’s cherubic, pudgy, diverse cast of characters is clearly up for the job—no adults ever appear on the scene to supervise their efforts. These industrious babies don protective gear, wield power tools, and operate heavy machinery across spreads sure to delight real-world readers who dream of such feats as they observe constructions sites from their vantage points in strollers and car seats and on caregivers’ shoulders. And what are these babies building? “ ‘Done at last!’ / builders shout. / ‘Take a look! / Check it out!’ ” reads a spread with cheering, work-worn tots, and then a page turn reveals a cross-section of a magnificent three-story playscape in which the babies enjoy the fruits of their labor. But they’re still just babies, after all, so the closing spreads bring a depiction of cozy nighttime scenes, complete with a bath, jammies, and sweet dreams. Nakata’s tots are adorably pudgy, round little thighs peeking out from diapered bottoms and creasing at the knees. Readers will enjoy spotting the babies’ little animal friends (a mole and some pillbugs) who emerge from the disturbed earth to join in the fun.

A dream-come-true building book for babes in arms. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-55270-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...


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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Purchase for some temporary interactive Halloween fun.


From the My Magical Friends series

Four green-faced witches fly through this durable board book looking for Halloween fun.

A turn of the notched wheel embedded in the cover page changes the sparkly stripes on a witch’s hat, cape, and broom. Three more witches join the fun inside. Though not identified by gender, all wear dresses. All the interactive elements are focused on the first witch, who wears fluffy orange hair in two pigtails. One slider simultaneously lifts a broom and plops a straight hat on top of that hair. Another slides the witch across the night sky. A second wheel shows the ingredients being added to a cauldron. A final slider magically produces three black cats. Two lines of (uncredited) rhyming text on each of the four double-page spreads hint at what the interactive element will reveal. While the text is conveniently placed in the same spot on each spread, the vocabulary is peppered with reach words for the toddler audience: “Off they swooped on whizzing brooms, / heading for the potions room.” Mice, pumpkins, spiderwebs, owls, brooms, bats, and other thematically appropriate objects and creatures scattered across the busy pages place the book firmly in the Halloween genre. Unnamed and primarily decorative, these seemingly arbitrary additions distract from the slight story thread. Toddlers will readily manipulate the five smoothly performing interactive elements; unfortunately, the text and pictures are not equally enticing.

Purchase for some temporary interactive Halloween fun. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4463-1

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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