No new territory here, but the combination of charming kids and adorable dogs creates an appealing board book for little...

THE BABIES AND DOGGIES BOOK

Photographs of babies and toddlers in a variety of activities are juxtaposed with similar shots of puppies and older dogs in this sturdy board book.

The attractive cover shows an Asian boy holding a huge ice cream cone, with a dachshund next to him, licking his chops in anticipation. The book’s square format is a little larger than most board books, with left-hand pages showing the children in action and right-hand pages with dogs in similar poses. The child models (all undeniably cute) range in age from crawling babies to a running 2-year-old, and of the 19 children, 10 are children of color. Paired photographs include views of smelling flowers, splashing in water and cuddling up with a pal. The photographs contain lots of action and varied perspectives, alternating between close-ups and longer shots. The simple, loosely rhymed text explains that babies and dogs do lots of the same things, including hiding, eating, running and playing ball. The text consists of just a few sentences, with just a couple words (“goofy” and “loopy”) stretching typical toddler vocabulary.

No new territory here, but the combination of charming kids and adorable dogs creates an appealing board book for little ones. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: March 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-44477-5

Page Count: 26

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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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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