An excellent bedtime read no matter your species.

You don’t have to be human to like a good bedtime story.

Bachelet’s circular tale, originally published in France as Une histoire qui… (“A story that…”), features a slew of different species of parents reading stories to their little ones at bedtime. On the cover, a butterfly parent reads to its caterpillar child, who cuddles in bed with a stuffed panda toy in bed. On the first double-page spread, text reading “A very gentle mom, / a chubby-cheeked child, / a cuddly friend with whiskers… / …a story that grows” accompanies an illustration of a panda mother reading to her panda baby, who clutches a stuffed walrus toy. The next double-page spread features a walrus dad reading to his walrus child, who holds a stuffed stork toy. The text cycles through giraffes, ostriches, snails, bats, dragons, ETs, and backhoes before concluding with a white human child snuggling a stuffed butterfly: “A dad who stretches, / a child snuggled in for the night, / a cuddly friend that comforts… / …a story that is off to sleep.” The author’s bright, smiling watercolor creatures, machines, and people are wide-eyed, colorful, and attractive. In each spread, a fanciful nursery scene appears on verso while opposite, a book is depicted harmoniously and whimsically, with equally playful typography.

An excellent bedtime read no matter your species. (Picture book. 1-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5512-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018


A joyful celebration.

Families in a variety of configurations play, dance, and celebrate together.

The rhymed verse, based on a song from the Noodle Loaf children’s podcast, declares that “Families belong / Together like a puzzle / Different-sized people / One big snuggle.” The accompanying image shows an interracial couple of caregivers (one with brown skin and one pale) cuddling with a pajama-clad toddler with light brown skin and surrounded by two cats and a dog. Subsequent pages show a wide array of families with members of many different racial presentations engaging in bike and bus rides, indoor dance parties, and more. In some, readers see only one caregiver: a father or a grandparent, perhaps. One same-sex couple with two children in tow are expecting another child. Smart’s illustrations are playful and expressive, curating the most joyful moments of family life. The verse, punctuated by the word together, frequently set in oversized font, is gently inclusive at its best but may trip up readers with its irregular rhythms. The song that inspired the book can be found on the Noodle Loaf website.

A joyful celebration. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22276-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020


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 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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