A sweet and smart introduction to the Christmas holiday.

YOU ARE MY MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

The spirit of Christmas is found within.

Christmas’ superficial definitions may be the cookies, presents, and festive trees, but this board book helps little readers grasp that the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the ties that bind us. There’s nothing warmer than snuggling with a little one and reading a story together, and the author explores this idea with text that declares “You are my most precious gift / My holly, jolly sugar plum,” making it clear that the most important part of the holiday is spending time with a loved one. Wan’s heavily outlined, rounded, and cuddly cartoon style blends well with the traditional Christmas imagery she evokes. The small board book is sturdily constructed and devoid of flaps or any other bells and whistles beyond a sparkly cover. The simple message is underlined by simple presentation, making this an ideal read for little ones just beginning to work their ways around a book.

A sweet and smart introduction to the Christmas holiday. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

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As bright and bold as the holiday it celebrates.

HOP! HOP!

An excited little one celebrates Easter.

The Easter Bunny is on its way, and Patricelli’s one-haired tot is thrilled. He prepares for the holiday by painting eggs and making bunny ears. On the big day, he excitedly looks for Easter eggs while his parents watch. The bold, rounded illustrations catch the eye, with a wide range of colors used throughout. The author pays a little lip service toward education by showing primary colors combining to create secondary colors, but the book's main focus is the exuberance that comes with celebrating the holiday, particularly when the traditions are so new and exciting. The enthusiasm is infectious, and read-alouds will most likely lead to little ones’ looking to do some arts and crafts of their very own.

As bright and bold as the holiday it celebrates. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6319-3

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Take it, or leave it.

THE ITSY BITSY SNOWMAN

A wintertime story that can be sung to the tune of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

The itsy bitsy snowman and his friends are playing in the snow. They climb up a snowy hill, jump on a sled, slide fast, and zip past children skating on ice. Then, though the text tells readers that he “dodged a snowball fight,” his head becomes separated from his body. Not to worry, “out came his friends / to lend a happy hand.” In the last spread the itsy bitsy snowman stands with his mom, dad, and friends, “And everything was perfect / in his winter wonderland.” The story, intended to be read to the tune of the beloved nursery rhyme, doesn’t always quite fit the template, as in: “The itsy bitsy snowman / climbed up the snowy hill. // He jumped on a sled / and slid fast…what a thrill!” For no obvious reason, on every page one word is printed in a different color from the rest of the text. Rescek’s illustrations are bright, cheery, and cartoonlike, with an appropriate wintry pale blue as the dominant color. Though sweet and cute, there is nothing particularly fresh or new here.

Take it, or leave it. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4837-6

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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