A winter winner.

READ REVIEW

SNOW KISSES

The joys of winter, indoors and out, celebrated from a toddler’s perspective.

This appealing board book reminds toddlers that there’s plenty of cause for excitement in the coming of winter. The simple, rhymed text is reminiscent, in both meter and enthusiasm, of the writing of Sandra Boynton: “Snow is falling! Winter is here! / Let’s all give a snowflake cheer!” Snowflakes adorn each page of the book. Pages of text face scenes of the wintry activities described, both outdoors (sledding, skiing, and snowball fights) and indoors (curling up in a warm blanket and drinking hot cocoa or cuddling on the couch after a day of outdoor play). Each scene features sweetly rendered animals at play or at rest, from snow-appropriate creatures such as penguins and polar bears to cats, ducks, tigers, and, perhaps most inexplicably of all, honeybees on skis. The animals are expressive and engaging; colors are muted pastels of light pink, purple, blue, or snowy white. The book’s tone is uniformly upbeat, emphasizing the fun to be had outdoors with friends and indoors, snuggling with family and enjoying the cozy warmth of home after a busy day of playing in the snow. The final scenes set the stage nicely for bedtime, with polar-bear goodnight nuzzles and a tired penguin tucked into bed, dreaming of snow kisses (“good night, sleepyhead”).

A winter winner. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3075-4

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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