Count on Duquennoy to deliver consistent quality.



From the Zoe and Zack series

Another playful, uncluttered concept book from the creative mind that brought us Opposites, Shapes (both 2018), and Colors (2019).

This time Duquennoy provides multiple ways for toddlers to practice numeracy skills. When the book is closed, the numerals 1 through 10 are visible on the index tabs to the right. Open the book to find the numeral enlarged on the bottom left side next to Zoe, whose black-and-white (and a smidge of yellow) zebra body forms each number. Active youngsters may be tempted to do the same with their own bodies. At the top center, a small die displays a corresponding number of dots. On the recto page, center top, a hand in a circle holds out the appropriate number of fingers. Below, Zack, an irrepressible chameleon, juggles the corresponding number of balls. Duquennoy’s choice to have Zack consistently juggle balls instead of different objects makes it easy for young children to focus on counting. Both the large numeral and the balls are slightly textured and match the chameleon’s changing color. The one line of text is also repeated. The only change is the number. On the final spread “Zoe and Zack make the number 10 / and play with 10 balls!” In this case, the balls form the “1” in the number while Zoe’s body makes the “0”—a subtle reminder of what cooperation can accomplish.

Count on Duquennoy to deliver consistent quality. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 979-1-03631-494-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.


Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin.


Bunny hunts for carrots but finds noisy animal babies behind each flap instead.

“Bunny hops out of her burrow, / she’s looking for carrots to eat. / Can you help this fluffy friend / find a tasty treat?” The baaas, quacks, chirps, and horsey clip-clopping—activated by light as each of the first four big, shaped flaps lift—are gratifyingly loud and clear. All of the animal figures in the bright color pictures are intensely cute plush toys inserted into simple outdoorsy mixes of painted greenery and photographed flowers and bugs. Even the heaped carrots hiding behind the fifth and final flap are soft and fuzzy, though you’d never know that from the sound as Bunny hops on them (with a really loud boing) and chows down with crunches so comically amplified and rapid that caregivers too will laugh (at least the first dozen or so go-rounds). As no pressing of buttons is required to cue the sound effects, Bunny’s miniodyssey is suited to sharing at a slight remove with groups of toddlers as well as one-on-one. Batteries are replaceable, and there is (thankfully) an on-off switch on the rear cover.

Sounds like a winner, though the animal chorus is a bit thin. (Novelty board book. 18 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4654-7853-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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