BAMBOO FOR ME, BAMBOO FOR YOU!

Panda sisters Amanda and Miranda enjoy playing, watching other animals, and chewing on bamboo.

The pint-sized cubs live at the zoo with their Mama. Throughout the day, they observe what the other animals eat. Though curious, they are picky! “Pewwww!” is the repeated refrain as they scrutinize their neighbors’ meals. They prefer bamboo, which they jubilantly share for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Like all toddler siblings, Amanda and Miranda spend the day playing…and arguing. When some gentle pushing gets slightly out of hand, the cubs decide to play alone, each ultimately realizing she is lonely without her sister. The rhyming text and repeated, predictable negative judgment of all foods nonbamboo help to tie the storylines together, creating a gleeful picture of the persnickety pandas’ daily routine. The consistent rhythm pattern and use of words that rhyme with “bamboo” result in a narrative that is delightful to read aloud. Bright and charming full-page illustrations show a romantic version of zoo life. The animals are all happy, living in quarters partitioned off by small barriers and full of natural materials to lounge on and explore. There are no cages and no humans. This idealized setting may be unrealistic, but it serves the overall tone of the story well.

Sweet and satisfying. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5063-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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