A sturdy choice for toddler animal lovers with endearing art and a slight story.

MAX'S RAINFOREST ADVENTURE

Max, a satchel-bearing brown, tailed monkey, explores his rainforest home.

On these extra-thick board pages, Max meets Charlie the crocodile, James the jaguar, and Tyler the toucan. Each critter, along with Max, shares details from their lives and makes an associated sound: “SNAP!”; “ROAR!”; “CROAK!” In the end, Max journeys home to tell his friends and family about his adventures. This slight narrative is told through simple prose and easy dialogue. Waring’s whimsical animals are inviting, with oversized eyes and childlike appeal in muted colors. Max, refreshingly, is never played for a fool but instead navigates his environment with friendly confidence and greets each animal as an equal. Also refreshing is the care taken to include only animals found in one specific rainforest habitat, in this case a South American one, rather than jumbling them together from around the world. The different spreads bleed into one another with little indication they are not part of the same scene, which may confuse toddlers still learning book conventions. The format looks sturdy enough to withstand rough play. The full-size illustration of Max, shaped to look like his body, on the cover will appeal to the core audience.

A sturdy choice for toddler animal lovers with endearing art and a slight story. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-948418-77-5

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Clever Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead.

THE ITSY BITSY BUNNY

An Easter-themed board-book parody of the traditional nursery rhyme.

Unfortunately, this effort is just as sugary and uninspired as The Itsy Bitsy Snowman, offered by the same pair in 2015. A cheerful white bunny hops through a pastel world to distribute candy and treats for Easter but spills his baskets. A hedgehog, fox, mouse, and various birds come to the bunny’s rescue, retrieving the candy, helping to devise a distribution plan, and hiding the eggs. Then magically, they all fly off in a hot air balloon as the little animals in the village emerge to find the treats. Without any apparent purpose, the type changes color to highlight some words. For very young children every word is new, so highlighting “tiny tail” or “friends” makes no sense. Although the text is meant to be sung, the words don't quite fit the rhythm of the original song. Moreover, there are not clear motions to accompany the text; without the fingerplay movements, this book has none of the satisfying verve of the traditional version.

Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5621-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of...

BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU

A mother’s observations of her new baby lead to a series of sweet comparisons to various animals.

“When I met you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. / I held you close so you were warm.” Teen author Marr (Made for You, 2014, etc.) uses playful yet comforting language in her picture-book debut. The baby’s squirming kicks remind her of a “lost kangaroo”; a lifting of the child’s head makes her think of a “curious lizard”; and the little one’s howl seems like that of a “lonely wolf.” Each of the child’s behaviors leads to a tender action taken by the mother: tucking the baby in, offering milk, and giving a bath. Each time a new creature is introduced, White gently changes the dominant color in the muted pastel palette of her watercolor and gouache illustrations. That hue is also reflected in the hand-lettered text, giving the overall design of the book a vintage feel. When the baby smiles, the mother knows “You are not a bunny-roo-lizard-wolf-kitten-piggy. You are my baby.” The final page shows the curled-up infant asleep in a pile of blankets.

A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of their families. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-16742-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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