A “hippity hoppity” tale and a lovely way to get little readers excited for Easter.

PETER COTTONTAIL'S HOPPY EASTER

In this board book based on the song “Here Comes Peter Cottontail,” an accident-prone rabbit delivers Easter treats.

The titular bunny trots along with a red wagon full of surprises but doesn’t quite make a clean delivery: He cracks the eggs, spills the jelly beans, and eats the chocolate bunnies. But he hides what’s left of the treats and heads back down the bunny trail. Sattler’s illustrations contrast with the more straightforward text (on a page with the words “Hippity, hoppity / Easter’s on its way,” we see Peter sprawled on his face, having taken a tumble), letting readers in on the joke that the bunny isn’t doing what’s expected. The final page provides questions that encourage a reread: “How many eggs can you find on each page?” for example. This addition challenges toddler readers with a seek-and-find–style revisit. With his blue overalls, floppy ears, and wide, expressive eyes, Peter cuts an endearing figure. The illustrations use spring pastels like baby blue, pale green, and pinks and purples. An adorable little snail with knowing eyes opens and closes the book. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A “hippity hoppity” tale and a lovely way to get little readers excited for Easter. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5341-1168-4

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2022

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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

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Exactly what readers want and expect from the board-book master.

POOKIE'S THANKSGIVING

From the Little Pookie series

Pookie and family celebrate Thanksgiving.

Boynton’s precocious little pig is back in this holiday installment. The family gets ready for Thanksgiving by baking pies, welcoming Nemmy and Boppa for dinner, and sharing gratitude (and pie!). Boynton’s familiar rhyming text and simple, thick-lined illustrations are exactly what readers have come to expect from this series: Pookie is a little silly, the story bounces along, and the artwork is warm and cozy. Though most of the action takes place inside, the passage of day is clear through the window, from daylight to the setting sun. Decorations and a tree with just a few leaves on it indicate the autumnal season. There are two pages where numbers are called out, presented differently from the rest of the typeface (Pookie and their parents prepare apple pie and one pumpkin pie, and there will be five guests at dinner). The only bolded digits are one and five, even though the text does mention that there will be a total of two pies—a stylistic choice that seems to point readers to counting practice but that feels a bit random. Overall, though, this is a worthy new story about one of Boynton’s most beloved characters. True to form, it’s a toddler-friendly read, providing context for the festivities and a sweet representation of gratitude. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Exactly what readers want and expect from the board-book master. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-263-0

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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