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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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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