As a vehicle for peddling Pete to babies, this book serves its purpose, but that’s the only one.

I LOVE PETE THE KITTY

From the Pete the Cat series

Dean’s heavy-lidded blue cat loves a lot of things.

In fact, Pete “loves EVERYTHING”: playing on the swing set and the slide, “riding his skateboard,” making a sand castle at the beach, “learning new things” at school, “playing guitar and singing songs,” reading “all kinds of books,” and eating sweets. (Nothing even remotely healthful is featured on his list of favorite foods.) He loves his friends and his family, and they love him too. Pete is more a phenomenon than a character, the couldn’t-care-less expression he permanently wears crucial to his brand appeal. Those people who love Pete will probably love this book, but the babies they share it with will be puzzled. No matter how much the text tells them Pete loves this or that, he looks bored in every endeavor except for singing, when his pink tongue sticking out gives him the semblance of a smile. While several of the other cat characters are similarly expressionless, enough have upturned kitty mouths to thoroughly confuse readers who have associated the smiling faces of their caregivers with love from their earliest days.

As a vehicle for peddling Pete to babies, this book serves its purpose, but that’s the only one. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-243581-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.

TRICK OR TREAT, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of...

BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU

A mother’s observations of her new baby lead to a series of sweet comparisons to various animals.

“When I met you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. / I held you close so you were warm.” Teen author Marr (Made for You, 2014, etc.) uses playful yet comforting language in her picture-book debut. The baby’s squirming kicks remind her of a “lost kangaroo”; a lifting of the child’s head makes her think of a “curious lizard”; and the little one’s howl seems like that of a “lonely wolf.” Each of the child’s behaviors leads to a tender action taken by the mother: tucking the baby in, offering milk, and giving a bath. Each time a new creature is introduced, White gently changes the dominant color in the muted pastel palette of her watercolor and gouache illustrations. That hue is also reflected in the hand-lettered text, giving the overall design of the book a vintage feel. When the baby smiles, the mother knows “You are not a bunny-roo-lizard-wolf-kitten-piggy. You are my baby.” The final page shows the curled-up infant asleep in a pile of blankets.

A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of their families. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-16742-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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