THE BABY'S GAME BOOK

Wilner’s (The Poetry Troupe, not reviewed) collection of games, especially for baby, engages children’s entire being, from the top of their fuzzy little heads to the tips of their tiny toes, in loving play. In a special foreword to parents and caregivers, the author stresses that the purpose of play with baby is to interact with the child rather than whether to play the game correctly. Over 30 different rhymes are included in the text, stimulating a variety of baby’s senses and providing a gentle introduction to language. There are rhymes focusing on baby’s fingers and toes, activities that identify the parts of baby’s face and even a counting game that introduces the days of the week and the numbers one through ten. Ride-along games, like “This Is the Way Ladies Ride,” and an assortment of tickle games are sure to generate lots of toothless grins. Some activities are classic and familiar, such as “Peek-a-boo” and “Pat-a-cake.” Others are new adaptations of an older game, e.g., “The Love Game” uses arm motions to indicate how much you love baby, much like the traditional “How Big Is Baby” game. Williams’s (Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck, 2000) delicately hued watercolors are a vital part of the book’s appeal and success. Each rhyme comprises either a full-page or two-page spread, with accompanying illustrations. The soft pastel drawings are a mixture of form and function; whimsical scenes entertain while offering possibilities on how to execute the activities. A multicultural assortment of round-headed infants with sweet little smiles peer out of the pages. A winsome treasury of games that reinforce the bonds of love between parent and child. (author’s note) (Picture book. 0-2)

Pub Date: April 30, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-15916-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2000

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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