Another fine entry for a “sense of wonder” collection.

ON DUCK POND

From the On Bird Hill and Beyond series

The splash and chatter of a raft of ducks temporarily disrupts the peace of a wildlife-filled pond.

Smoothly crafted couplets and the occasional triplet describe a moment in the natural world when a “quack of ducks” descends on a pond. The unnamed narrator, who is walking with a leashed dog, is depicted as an adult with light-brown skin. She describes the sights and sounds of mallards landing, the other animals scattering, and the water rippling. “Every part of me was changed, / I looked like I’d been re-arranged.” Just as quickly the ducks move on, and peace returns. A prolific and skillful writer, Yolen chooses her words carefully and interestingly, putting them together in ways that read aloud gracefully. This companion volume to On Bird Hill (2016) again speaks to the joy of paying attention to one’s surroundings. The text describes some of the pond’s inhabitants: trout, turtles, tadpoles, a bullfrog, and a blue heron. The illustrations show many more. Fourteen are identified in a key in the backmatter, and there are a few fast facts. Young readers and listeners will be encouraged to discover them in their habitat on these pages. Marstall’s delicately colored paintings are less whimsical and more realistic than in the previous book. They show the pond from many angles, including close-up images of lily pads and broad vistas.

Another fine entry for a “sense of wonder” collection. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943645-22-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cornell Lab Publishing Group

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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