A playful celebration of childhood.

READ REVIEW

ALL KIDS ARE GOOD KIDS

With skin tones ranging from deep brown to paper white, a diverse group of children represents a wide range of temperaments, interests, and characteristics.

The text follows a repeated rhyming pattern for each line: “Calm kids, mad kids / Hugs from mom or dad kids.” Each couplet spans a double-page spread that’s illustrated with a full-bleed illustration or is made up of a collection of smaller panels. Children enjoy outdoor adventures, art activities, and building pillow forts in the scenes. While there doesn’t appear to be a narrative thread that binds these episodes together and there is a new batch of kids with each page turn, Hammer’s two-dimensional cartoons populated with stocky, round figures in medium hues are gleefully toddler friendly. The project ends with the query: “What kind of kid are you?”—and the group of five tykes depicted looks invitingly and cheekily at readers for a reply.

A playful celebration of childhood. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3204-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A comforting celebration of everyday courage with lots of charm to boot.

I AM SO BRAVE!

From the Empowerment series

This upbeat ode to conquering fears will resonate with tots both timid and not.

The sparse text of this sturdy board book is a series of three quatrains, presented one brief line per spread, describing the various fears a little boy has overcome: “I was scared of big dogs. / Then I made a new friend. // I was scared of the water. / Now I love the deep end.” Having also conquered fears of the dark, loud horns and goodbyes, he proclaims on the final pages: “I’m not scared like before. / I am so brave!” The skillful verses read smoothly and depict situations that toddlers and preschoolers will relate to. The illustrations center around a wide-eyed African-American child as the main character, with Caucasian children also populating some of the scenes, including the final spread, which features the narrator leaping boldly into a pit of colored balls. The design and color scheme, mostly bright blues, yellows and reds, give the title a distinctly vintage feel, which will lend it appeal to both adults and children.

A comforting celebration of everyday courage with lots of charm to boot. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0937-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.

TRICK OR TREAT, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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