An uneven introduction to the barnyard.

FARMYARD WORDS

Little readers learn about the farm.

This board book employs over 50 words across five double-page spreads to teach little ones all about the farmyard. The words range from the obvious (cow, horse, pig) to those less commonly associated with the farmyard (rainbow, ball, kite). Each scene presents rounded, smiling animals done in a primary color palette that will certainly catch young eyes. However, the tableaux run the risk of being overstuffed. With at least 10 identified objects in each scene, the book rewards repeat readings but might overwhelm sensitive readers. A large die-cut window in the middle of the book that features different animals jutting into the frame on each recto does little to add to the experience, actually detracting from the composition of the scenery. Jungle 123, which publishes concurrently, uses a similar format to explore the jungle and count tigers, monkeys, and other jungle animals.

An uneven introduction to the barnyard. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0260-3

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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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Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here.

PEEKABOO REX!

From the Boynton on Board series

The favorite game of toddlers gets a dino twist.

A large dinosaur tries to outsmart a smaller companion when the duo play peekaboo together. The big dino naïvely believes they won’t be noticed behind or under sundry hiding places, but the little pal always finds their playmate. Young listeners will giggle as the large dino attempts to outwit the little one, but in vain; in every instance, the diminutive, overalls-clad dino calls out a triumphant “Peekaboo!” How come? Is it because thin tree trunks and a potted plant can’t conceal the large dino’s frame? Do the big dino’s bold, flower-print shirts stick out a mile? Even when the large dinosaur attempts an aerial hiding place, they discover that ruse doesn’t, ahem, fly, nor does hiding in a crowd wearing a Where’s Waldo?–esque red-striped cap and T-shirt do any good. In a display of good sportsmanship, the big dino concedes at the end the game was fun. The youngest audiences, all of whom will have likely engaged in marathon peekaboo sessions themselves, will undoubtedly scramble to play again. Besides stimulating playtime, this adorable board book, expressed in lilting rhymes, boosts vocabulary development through the use of some common prepositions (behind, in) and adverbs (here, there, everywhere). The illustrations are sweetly engaging; the round cutout on the front cover invites youngsters to play peekaboo games with adult partners and others. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-66592-840-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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