An adequate introduction to whet babies' palates for more substantial nursery fare.

HEY, DIDDLE, DIDDLE

More than 15 traditional rhymes make up this gentle collection for the youngest listeners.

Despite the venerable nature of the rhymes, there's plenty of modern appeal. Old Mother Hubbard drives her convertible to the market; a young mother pushes her child (Peter Piper) in the grocery store's cart in search of pickled peppers. Tradition takes a backseat to a nursery aesthetic. With her brood of children, the little old lady remains all smiles in her cozy shoe. “She gave them some broth / with plenty of bread. / Then kissed them all sweetly / and tucked them in bed.” Endpapers feature the titular rhyme's spoon and plate holding hands as they race off the page. Sometimes animals play the lead. A mouse couple (Jack Sprat and his wife) devour their meal, and a canine Yankee Doodle rides his pony. Though there is a nod to diversity, by and large, the humans are white. Animals and people share the spreads; pastel shades keep the edges soft.

An adequate introduction to whet babies' palates for more substantial nursery fare. (Board book. 0-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58925-870-9

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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An edge-of-your-seat read.

THE CANYON'S EDGE

A girl’s birthdays mark parallel tragedies for her broken family unit.

Last year’s celebration at a restaurant ended in an unexplained public shooting, and Nora’s mother died. She and her father are still wrestling with their trauma, Nora with a confirmed diagnosis of PTSD. For this year’s outing, Nora and her father head into the deserts of the Southwest on a rock-climbing expedition. They descend into a 40-foot deep slot canyon, then hike along inside until a flash flood barrels through the canyon, washing away all their supplies…and Nora’s father. She’s left to survive this symbolic and living nightmare on her own. Thankfully, she can make continuous use of her parents’ thorough training in desert knowledge. Brief sections of prose bracket the meat of the story, which is in verse, a choice highly effective in setting tone and emotional resonance for the heightened situation. Bowling’s poems run a gamut of forms, transforming the literal shape of the text just as the canyon walls surrounding Nora shape her trek. The voice of Nora’s therapist breaks through occasionally, providing a counterpoint perspective. Nora is White while two characters seen in memories have brown skin. The narrative also names local Native peoples. Elements of the survival story and psychological thriller combine with strong symbolism to weave a winding, focused, stunning narrative ultimately about the search for healing.

An edge-of-your-seat read. (Adventure. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-49469-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

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An acceptable and sturdy addition to the Easter basket for baby bunnies deemed too young to handle Dorothy Kunhardt's more...

FIVE LITTLE BUNNIES

Following on the successful Five Little Pumpkins (2003), Yaccarino teams with Rabe for bunnies.

The five pastel bunnies are cute enough, and the rhymes are accurate, if somewhat wordy for toddlers. But without a clear one-to-one relationship between the words and the pictures, it is not always clear which bunny is speaking and what is being counted. The bunnies, identified as first, second, and so on, hop around the pages instead of staying in a consistent order as the rhyme implies. Naming them by color might have been a better choice, but that would mean abandoning the finger-play counting-rhyme formula. The children who show up to hunt the eggs are a multicultural cast of cartoonish figures with those in the background drawn as blue and green silhouettes. Though the text on the back cover invites children to count the eggs, there is no hint as to how many eggs they should find. Neither the verse nor the pictures provide counting assistance. The youngest children will not care about any of this; they will be content to point out the different colors of the bunnies and the patterns on the eggs.

An acceptable and sturdy addition to the Easter basket for baby bunnies deemed too young to handle Dorothy Kunhardt's more satisfying but fragile classic, Pat the Bunny. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-225339-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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