A sweet reminder to cuddle and kiss throughout a baby’s day.

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A KISS FOR YOU

An ode to love and kisses for babies and toddlers, imported from Belgium and the Netherlands.

Big-headed, diaper-clad fuzzy animals populate this board book. Each has characteristics that mirror the brief text. “A kiss for you on the top of your head…” is paired with an orange crawling cat-baby with three distinct stripes on its head. The “baby” on the next spread with a pig’s ears, hooves, and substantial snout is ready to be kissed “on the tip of your nose.” Subsequent pages follow the same pattern, with a rhino’s rosy cheeks, elephant’s ears, giraffe’s neck, mouse’s fingers and toes, lamb’s belly, and puppy’s sleepy eyes all awaiting kisses while engaged in typical baby behaviors. Their facial expressions are all anticipation. Finally a big-eyed, bald White baby smiles at the words, “I kiss you, I kiss you, I kiss you…because I love you so much.” Sharing this with a tot will almost inevitably end in giggles, cuddles, and kisses. (The book does not take into account those babies who may not welcome such physical intimacy.) The large trim size and uncluttered layout help even the youngest babies focus on what is inevitably coming—more kisses. The pale palette of peach, beige, light brown, and white with contrasting baby-blanket patterns matches the gently playful tone.

A sweet reminder to cuddle and kiss throughout a baby’s day. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-60537-560-1

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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Hee haw.

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new...

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THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.

Living in a "domain" of glass, metal and cement at the Big Top Mall, Ivan sometimes forgets whether to act like a gorilla or a human—except Ivan does not think much of humans. He describes their behavior as frantic, whereas he is a peaceful artist. Fittingly, Ivan narrates his tale in short, image-rich sentences and acute, sometimes humorous, observations that are all the more heartbreaking for their simple delivery. His sorrow is palpable, but he stoically endures the cruelty of humans until Ruby the baby elephant is abused. In a pivotal scene, Ivan finally admits his domain is a cage, and rather than let Ruby live and die in grim circumstances, he promises to save her. In order to express his plea in a painting, Ivan must bravely face buried memories of the lush jungle, his family and their brutal murder, which is recounted in a brief, powerful chapter sure to arouse readers’ passions. In a compelling ending, the more challenging question Applegate poses is whether or not Ivan will remember what it was like to be a gorilla. Spot art captures poignant moments throughout.

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-199225-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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