A pleasant-enough diversion, but the game without the book has more staying power.

WHO SAYS PEEKABOO?

From the Baby Mirror Board Books series

Three babies play peekaboo with animal friends in this simple question-and-answer board book.

The simple and repetitive format of this board book gives it high appeal for very young readers, who also get to play along. The question “What game does baby want to play?” and its answer, “Baby says, PEEKABOO!” are repeated with three different baby-and-animal pairs. The final page features a mirror with an invitation for readers to say “PEEKABOO” too. The illustrations feature photographs of babies (none with dark skin) and animals against an all-white background with clip-art–style props such as a box and a beach bucket digitally collaged in. Thankfully, the babies and animals are adorable, because these embellishments are decidedly lackluster. The repetition of the text and the familiarity of the peekaboo game make it an appropriate read for infants and young toddlers, who will also enjoy gazing at themselves and their caregivers in the mirror at the book’s end. A companion title, Who Says Hippity Hop?, asks readers which animal says the titular phrase, passing up various farm animals until readers land on the correct hopping creature. Easter baskets and eggs accompany the photographs in this one, which also includes a mirror at the end. It is both nonsensical in its premise and less engaging for infants and toddlers than the more versatile Peekaboo.

A pleasant-enough diversion, but the game without the book has more staying power. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68437-913-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Highlights Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

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THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

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TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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