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

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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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.

TRICK OR TREAT, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Superlative silliness.

MY DAD IS AMAZING

Extol the virtues of parents in this and its companion volume, My Mom is Magical.

Each of these winning board books is dedicated to the respective, titular parent of the author-and-illustrator team, sisters Sabrina and Eunice Moyle, who together are the design studio Hello!Lucky. The over-the-top enthusiasm of these volumes may, therefore, be reasonably excused, as the creative team’s love for their subjects seems as sincere as it is hyperbolic. A series of wild metaphors and analogies celebrate Dad or Mom; the near-blinding bright colors and kinetic, even chaotic illustrations perfectly complement the exuberant text. “My Dad is cooler than a million Popsicles!” “My Mom is cuddlier than a mountain yak!” A friendly, hipsterized yeti that looks like an extra from Where the Wild Things Are plays Dad, while Mom is rendered as a sparkly unicorn with rainbow mane and tail—who strikes heroic poses. Descriptive phrasing ranges from sweet to laugh-out-loud silly: Dad, for example, is “funnier than a bunch of underpants!” Funny indeed! Each volume ends by switching voices to break the fourth wall: “Kid, you’re amazing” (or “magical”) “too!” Both books are visual treats, sure to engage with their brilliant hues and inventive (if occasionally stereotypical) images. Dad is imagined at one point as a masked, lucha libre wrestler, for example, and Mom teaches a classroom of owlets mathematical formulae in glasses and an “I [heart] Math” T-shirt. Families may want both books, or either, as applicable.

Superlative silliness. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2961-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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