Toddlers will fawn over this board book.

SNOW STILL

Follow a young deer as it explores a wintry landscape.

Enveloped in a puffy, padded cover that matches the softness of the delicate watercolor images within, the book depicts a fawn partaking in a mild snowy adventure. Pale white backgrounds of thinly lined, gray-washed trees and snowdrifts are tranquil while the tawny fawn’s coat, the red rose hips, and the snow-encrusted, olive-green leaves provide notes of colorful contrast. Limiting herself to one two-word phrase per page, all beginning with the word “snow,” the author manages to tell a fairly concise story, though some combinations feel more germane than others. After emerging from a clearing, a “snow chase” after bunnies leads the fawn through a “snow find”—a meeting with songbirds perched on a branch—and into peril as the fawn leaves the safe forest for a “snow silent” open field. Showing the fawn small and alone amid the empty white landscape communicates just enough drama for a young audience but also warmly resolves it as the fawn finds its way back to parents, nuzzling and “snow safe.” Though there’s some mild anthropomorphization, the adventures feel plausible enough until the buck is shown caring for the fawn, which is not accurate. Still, if readers aren’t sticklers for authenticity, they’ll delight in finding the woodland animals and in that precious spotted deer.

Toddlers will fawn over this board book. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0834-4

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

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 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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