This rowdy little one is likable enough, but he is no Max, and many parents may think his mother is a lunatic.

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I LOVE YOU, LITTLE MONSTER

A mother shines a sunny light on her babe's rambunctious behavior.

She highlights her “little monster's” admirable qualities even as her toddler rampages through their home with boundless energy. “You have caverns to explore and lofty mountains to climb,” she says indulgently as he poses atop the upside-down laundry basket, clothes strewn about. The relaxed mama's parenting style, expressed in structured, rhythmic rhymes, is unfalteringly laidback, even when her little one smears oatmeal on the wall. “Who's my HUNGRY little monster, / Little Monster, monster mine? / Such an artist with your food! / Your oatmeal paintings are so fine.” Thin black lines outline details on the white background; only "the monster" and his monster toy are colored in. There's a little adult irony; the exhausted parents protect themselves with pillows as their tot jumps on their bed. With polka-dot wings, flippers, a scarf tail and antennae, he is pretty cute.

This rowdy little one is likable enough, but he is no Max, and many parents may think his mother is a lunatic. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2850-8

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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Fans of the earworm will enjoy Baby Shark’s expanded universe.

MEET BABY SHARK

Little ones meet Baby Shark’s extended family and friends in this board-book version of the viral online Pinkfong video.

Sensibly, this offering does not attempt to replicate the song, since readers have likely viewed it multiple times if the 3.5 billion views (and counting) are any indication. Each line of this version is shared on a double-page spread featuring a character: Baby Shark, the rest of the Shark family (Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa), and a couple of critters not mentioned in the song (Baby Turtle, a terrified fish named William, and Pinkfong, the brand’s fox logo). The primary text will be meaningful only to readers familiar with the song: “GRANDPA SHARK DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO.” A few words about each character and how they relate to Baby Shark accompany their appearance: “Grandpa Shark is wise and smart. He enjoys sharing his cooking skills with Baby Shark.” Rounded tabs at the top and the right margin of the book allow little fingers to easily turn the pages and readily access their favorite spreads. The two-dimensional gum ball–colored art is true to the source, and fans will not be disappointed. While Mommy and Daddy are color-coded in pink and blue, respectively and stereotypically, the rest of the creatures featured are not assigned colors based on gender.

Fans of the earworm will enjoy Baby Shark’s expanded universe. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-296589-9

Page Count: 18

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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If the point is to help children understand and accept their feelings, this effort is a failure. If the point is to sell...

KISS, KISS, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

None of the fish in this sea look like anything living outside the cartoon-cute world of Pout-Pout Fish, but that's just the beginning of the problems with this board-book addition to the franchise. The Pout-Pout Fish on the cover and every page of this offering doesn't look pouty at all. Slightly bemused, a bit surprised, maybe—but definitely not pouty. In fact, all of the cartoony creatures swimming in this fantasy sea share the same bug-eyed, slightly kissy-face expression. The rhyming message is that there are many ways to share it—a wave, a smile, holding hands (or fins), making silly faces, a hug, or a kiss—but there’s only one thing to call it: love. What is disturbing is that Mr. Fish seems to have only one choice—to accept love however it is offered. Giving children (or little fish) permission to trust their own feelings might be a more appropriate message.

If the point is to help children understand and accept their feelings, this effort is a failure. If the point is to sell Pout-Pout product, it might succeed. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30190-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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