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. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020


Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016


From the Kissing Hand series

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

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 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Close Quickview