GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BUNNY

Soft-focus illustrations in acrylic and colored pencil introduce Little Bunny as he and his young animal friends play at night in the forest. Little Bunny learns that the dark is not something scary but instead presents opportunities to dig in the dirt with Freddie the fox and play in the moonlight with a family of dormice. A friendly owl named Olive reminds Little Bunny that it isn’t really safe for little rabbits to be out alone at night, and she leads him back to his burrow, where his parents are waiting for him. The plodding story is rather old-fashioned and definitely of the forest-fairy-tale subgenre, as predator and prey play together as friends, and the owl warns the bunny and leads him home rather than having him for dinner. The book’s raison d'être is its changing-picture format, used for the cover illustration and for three spreads inside. The circular changing-picture inserts cleverly shift to a new picture by lifting a tree-shaped insert at the right-hand side of the page. Toddlers and younger preschoolers will be fascinated by this quick-change effect within the page, as the bunny and the squirrel transform into a fox, or the bunny and his mother change into the rabbit family asleep in their cozy burrow. Sweet but far from essential. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5263-0

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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An adventurous treat of a bedtime story.

BEDTIME FOR SWEET CREATURES

A patient mother with a healthy sense of whimsy helps prepare her headstrong toddler for bed.

The story opens with a toddler, fists raised into the air, proclaiming, “No! No! No!” Thank goodness this not-at-the-moment-sweet creature’s mother is patient and creative as she corrals her child into a bedtime routine that may feel familiar to many readers. The words and behaviors of the child evading bed are translated into animal sounds and behaviors: wide-eyed and asking “Who? Who?” like an owl; shaking hair and roaring like a lion; hanging on for a hug like a koala. And, of course, the requisite leaving bed for a last trip to the bathroom and drink, like a human child. Zunon’s art takes this book to the next level: Her portrayals of the animals mentioned in the text are colorful and full of intriguing patterns and shapes. Additionally, the expressions on the faces of the mother, child, and animals speak volumes, portraying the emotions of each. Arguably, the sweetest part of the story comes at the end, when the child asks to sleep with Mommy and Dad. Though the mother sighs, the child climbs in, along with “owl, bear, snake, kitty, fawn, squirrel, koala, tiger, wolf.” (Readers attuned to details will notice the father’s look of delight at the parade of animals.) All characters are Black.

An adventurous treat of a bedtime story. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3832-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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