FROG & FRIENDS

From the What Am I? series

This appealing offering presents a series of clues to a riddle with the answer revealed on a final, fold-out page.

The unnamed, first-person narrator describes, in one simple sentence per spread, an enjoyable day with friends, which include ducks, a beaver, frogs, turtles, snails, dragonflies and fireflies. The final page asks, “What am I?” and a vertical fold-out reveals an answer that no one will likely guess: a pond. The simple text is appropriately large and bold, and the delightful illustrations feature thick lines, chunky, smiling critters, and a vibrant, natural color scheme. Despite the potential confusion engendered by the title—which suggests that the first-person narrator is a frog—the riddle concept works well, and the answer, which readers of any age will be unlikely to guess, rightly encourages them to perceive the pond as not simply a backdrop, but an integral part of a thriving ecosystem. In a companion title, Owl and Friends, a tree tells readers about all the happy times it shares with forest animals as readers try to guess its identity. An engaging riddle book with standout illustrations, especially the final foldout, which is filled with merry creatures being regarded by a cheerful sun and a content, pigtailed little girl. (Board book. 1-4)

 

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8431-7277-5

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Price Stern Sloan

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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