Mindfully executed (mostly).

I YOGA YOU

In this rhyming board book, 13 cheerful children move through a day of yoga postures, from a morning sun salutation to a bedtime “sleeping pose.”

The opening lines mirror the cadence of the old song “Skinnamarink”: “I love you in the morning / when you salute the sun. // I love you when you stretch out straight. / Our day has now begun!” Unfortunately, the rhyme and scansion deteriorate as the verse continues. “I love you in the garden / when we say hello to plants and trees” is fine, but it’s followed by the tortured “I love you when you make me laugh— / you’re full of such sillies,” and rhyming “down” with “proud” is a huge stretch. Still, the 13 children shown incorporating yoga into everyday play are a diverse bunch. The adults helping the children dress, garden, play, meditate, fly, manage emotions, and explore are equally varied in terms of age and race, though there are no characters with visible disabilities. Any book lover will appreciate the penultimate stanza: “I love you / when we read book… / after book… / after book until the end of the day.” The final line abandons the meter completely. “It is time for bed, sleepyhead. / Namaste.” The last spread labels the poses modeled by each of the children. Clear backgrounds, a large clean type, and thick pages turn this simple paean to love into a useful instruction manual for the youngest yogis.

Mindfully executed (mostly). (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5489-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 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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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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