Toddlers are better served by a chorus of the original, accompanied by the finger motions

THE ITSY BITSY DUCKLING

From the Itsy Bitsy series

Yet another remake of the classic fingerplay.

Burton and Rescek need to find a new song to parody or, better yet, come up with something original. As in earlier remakes—The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim, The Istsy Bitsy Bunny, The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer (all 2016), and The Itsy Bitsy Snowman (2015)—the words are meant to be sung to the tune of the favorite nursery rhyme. In this outing, the rhymes work, but the meter is clunky. Rescek’s characters are cheery enough as they celebrate the transition from winter to spring. The question is why ducklings should replace spiders. “Down came the rain and chased the snow away” is simply not as satisfying as “washed the spider out.” The elements of danger, pluck, and mastery inherent in the original song are missing, as are the actions. A scene of anthropomorphic animals of different species sharing a den confuses rather than enlightens. There is no clear change from winter to spring; the color palette throughout is bright and springlike, and the duckling is about as realistic as an Easter Peep. Sturdy board pages may stand up to lots of handling, but young children are unlikely to ask for it more than once.

Toddlers are better served by a chorus of the original, accompanied by the finger motions . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8655-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more