A sweetly simple story that hinges on not just Baby Bear’s appetite, but his imaginative flights of fancy, too.

PIZZA

It may be hard for many American readers to believe, but Baby Bear has never had pizza before in this new offering from the beloved creator of Moonbear.

When Baby Bear’s parents take him to a new pizza parlor, their little cub worries that he may not like this new-to-him food. He does like the restaurant—it smells good, and he has a paper placemat to color on while he waits. When his food arrives, his worries are quickly assuaged when he tastes the pizza. Mama asks him if he likes it, and his response is emphatic: “ ‘Like it?’ cried Baby Bear. ‘I love it!’ ” That night Baby Bear sees pizzas in everything around him (the round moon, car tires, even a manhole), and he dreams of fanciful pizzas in his sleep. When he awakens the next morning, his parents offer various breakfast choices, but he rejects them and requests (what else?) pizza. Their chagrined expressions suggest that they see they’ve created something of a pizza monster with the prior night’s dinnertime outing. Fans of Asch’s prior Moonbear and Baby Bear books will recognize the anthropomorphic ursine characters, the art’s style and the simple story structure.

A sweetly simple story that hinges on not just Baby Bear’s appetite, but his imaginative flights of fancy, too. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6675-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

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 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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