This pleasant going-to-bed book isn’t essential, but it might be worth snuggling up to for a read.


One puffy little sheep is ready and willing to help readers navigate to slumberland.

Playing on the associations of counting sheep and making a silly substitution of “sheep” for “sleep,” this rhyming catalog discusses ways to “go to sheep.” An all-knowing sheep narrator shows two sibling sheep as well as readers how it’s done in bouncy rhyme, advising them when to rest, of places to sleep, what to wear, and all about dreams, with a final page showing the sheep trio tucked in and drifting off. Though it might be too boisterous for actual bedtime reading, it’s fun to read aloud, with a perky cadence and natural moments of drama, as when the sheep cozy up during a thunderstorm in a recto captioned: “you can sheep all alone… / but sometimes you can’t.” Deeply shaded watercolor vignettes with impressionistic detailing make the sleepy sheep appear ultracomfy while containing enough slapstick to hold readers’ interest: The narrator naps in heart-printed undies or dozes off while leaning against a startled friend—though the two siblings dumping water on the “grumpy” resting narrator edges toward mean-spirited. It’s a shame that the illustrator genders the female sheep with those ubiquitous long eyelashes and that it ends so specifically with “mama” doing the bedtime routine.

This pleasant going-to-bed book isn’t essential, but it might be worth snuggling up to for a read. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0395-6

Page Count: 11

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.


From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Fun format; bland text.


From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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