Matzah lovers rejoice—this one’s for you! (Board book. 1-4)

I LOVE MATZAH

Eating matzah is a delicious Passover tradition for one happy kid.

In this ode to the unleavened foodstuff, a young preschooler noshes on the Passover specialty throughout the day in various yummy iterations, whether it’s crumbled in yogurt, spread with jam, or alongside fish and carrots. Confined to a child’s snug domestic world, all the action takes place within the home, and the simply rendered kitchen, dining-room, and bedroom scenes place all the focus on the curly-haired child’s smiling face as yet another meal with the familiar, favorite food approaches. The book ends humorously with the family giggling at baby brother, who is wearing, not eating his treat, and a wish for readers to have a “Happy Passover!” Joyful illustrations are flat and bright, and there are little touches of Judaica sprinkled throughout that will make Jewish children feel seen: a Star of David mobile, a kippah-topped teddy bear, and a cheery “Got Matzah?” bib. Relayed in sprightly rhyming couplets, the text emphasizes the many tasty treats and the use of special Passover servingware, highlighting the terminal word in each rhyme, a device that will boost emergent literacy. It seems odd that the Seder isn’t mentioned at all, but otherwise this speaks well to the routines and rituals that many children hold so dear.

Matzah lovers rejoice—this one’s for you! (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-5727-7

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Light, friendly, and not at all preachy—a gentle win for a kinder world.

ABCS OF KINDNESS

Rhyming couplets use the alphabet to simply explain the abstract concept of kindness.

Each letter of the alphabet stands for a word that adds nuance to the notion while line drawings of pink-cheeked stuffed animals—bear, bunny, elephant, mouse, lion, and giraffe—illustrate the behavior. The verses hint at exactly how to act kindly. Some are concrete: “Ii is for inviting everyone to play.” Some suggest attitudes that facilitate kindness. For example, “Bb is for believing things will be okay in the end!” and “Hh is for hope—tomorrow’s another day!” While many might take issue with the simplistic assertion that “Ee is for everyone—we are all the same,” taken as a whole, the book will lead even the youngest toddlers to the message. Organizationally, the book devotes one page each to 11 letters while 14 others share pages. “Zz is sleeping peacefully when your day of kindness is through” sprawls across a final double-page spread, showing all the animals fast asleep. Creating an ABC book is harder than this makes it look. The true test is what is chosen to represent Q, X, Y, and Z. “Quiet times,” “Yes I can,” and the aforementioned “zzz”s ably rise to the challenge. “Xx is for kisses” is a bit of a stretch but understandable. Pastel backgrounds, uncluttered design, and unforced rhymes keep the focus on the concept.

Light, friendly, and not at all preachy—a gentle win for a kinder world. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-593-12307-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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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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