Serviceable for as long as it lasts.



From the Touch and Explore series

Shopping for a pet? This busy board book introduces to toddlers the common characteristics of nine household pets.

A cat and a dog each occupy a double-page spread, with the verso page divided into four squares of illustrated information about the pet’s babies, diet, and toileting needs. A fourth square that explains the animals’ space needs includes a flap with further information hidden behind it. A bird also warrants a double-page spread, with the verso providing generic information and a canary used as a specific example on the recto page. A guinea pig, hamster, fish, turtle, mouse, and rabbit are each described on just one page with factual information in a relatively large font. Each animal’s depiction includes a tactile element with varying degrees of success. For example, the shiny scales of the fish are described, but, upending expectations, the fish pictured is not shiny, and the canary’s feathers look and feel more like fur. Safari (written by Stéphanie Babin, illustrated by Deneux, and published simultaneously) follows the same format to highlight animals of an African savanna: lion, baboon, elephant, zebra, crocodile, and giraffe. Both volumes end with a summary page that mentions additional, related animals. The tactile patches will be the primary draw for young children. Unfortunately, they probably won’t survive the rough touch of toddler fingers, and the bindings are far from sturdy.

Serviceable for as long as it lasts. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-2-7459-8179-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.


One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.


The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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