Give babies Mother Goose; leave mythology for later.



From the Mini Myths series

Like his Greek god namesake with the golden touch, toddler Midas loves yellow.

A simple, initial double-page spread with just one word on each page makes this preference clear. He chooses yellow clothes, yellow food, and then yellow paint. Left to his own devices, Midas paints everything yellow, including his green dinosaur. The look on his face when he realizes what he's done is priceless. Fortunately, Dinoboo is washable. In a welcome touch, Midas is portrayed as a little brown boy with curly hair—a decision that may help this book find an audience. The story is clever, and the lesson—be careful what you wish for—is gently delivered. But what child of true board-book age has the conceptual sophistication for life lessons and the Greek myths? The simple retelling of “Midas and the Golden Touch” at the end of the book will be lost on young children, though Holub's skill in condensing the story to its essential elements is impressive. This will appeal to adults eager to jump-start their babies, but very young children would be better served with an age-appropriate board book with simple object-naming or shape- and sound-identification activities.

Give babies Mother Goose; leave mythology for later. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0952-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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As warm as a hug from Grandma.


Grandma is the star in dozens of picture books for older children, but seldom is the special bond between a toddler and their grandmother portrayed in a book for very young children.

This sweet, but not saccharine, board book fills that gap. Thankfully, this grandma does not have Alzheimer’s and is not dying. She simply delights in spending time with her cherished grandchild. The narrator, a charming bear cub, is not identified as male or female, which makes it easy for both girls and boys to insert themselves in the story. Each of the six rhyming couplets is spread across double-page spreads: “I love the fun we have each day, / And all the funny things you say.” Even in its small board-book trim size, there is still plenty of room for the winsome watercolors to highlight the familiar yet memorable rituals of a day spent with a loving and patient grandma. Note: “Rory Tyger” is the collective pseudonym for the British artistic team of Richard Greaves, Tracey Simmons, and Gabrielle Murphy. Their illustrations were originally used in Good Night, Sleep Tight by Claire Freedman (2003). In that story, the little bear is resisting bedtime. This reworking is a gentle and conflict-free ode to the special love between little bear and a doting grandma.

As warm as a hug from Grandma. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68010-524-7

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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If the point is to help children understand and accept their feelings, this effort is a failure. If the point is to sell...


From the Pout-Pout Fish series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

None of the fish in this sea look like anything living outside the cartoon-cute world of Pout-Pout Fish, but that's just the beginning of the problems with this board-book addition to the franchise. The Pout-Pout Fish on the cover and every page of this offering doesn't look pouty at all. Slightly bemused, a bit surprised, maybe—but definitely not pouty. In fact, all of the cartoony creatures swimming in this fantasy sea share the same bug-eyed, slightly kissy-face expression. The rhyming message is that there are many ways to share it—a wave, a smile, holding hands (or fins), making silly faces, a hug, or a kiss—but there’s only one thing to call it: love. What is disturbing is that Mr. Fish seems to have only one choice—to accept love however it is offered. Giving children (or little fish) permission to trust their own feelings might be a more appropriate message.

If the point is to help children understand and accept their feelings, this effort is a failure. If the point is to sell Pout-Pout product, it might succeed. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30190-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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