An absolute zoo of an ABC book—in the best possible way.

EEK!

A NOISY JOURNEY FROM A TO Z

Animals run amok from A to Z in this noisy alphabet book.

A mouse in tweed trousers plucks a flower and carries it away. But allergies kick in, and the mouse’s “achoo” scares away the bee that had been resting between the flower’s petals. As the bee flies off with a “bzzz,” a red bird gives out a “chirp,” and a nearby cat’s bell goes “ding-a-ling.” Just when the mouse turns to look, the cat’s paw reaches over the gutter: “Eeek!” Lucky for the mouse, a black dog take hold of the cat’s tail first. The cat flips over with a shocking “fwump.” The dog lets out a playful “grrr,” clearly aiming for some fun. The mouse’s story—and sounds associated with the rest of the alphabet—continues as more animal characters enter the action. But where is the mouse going? Will they ever make it there? Using only 26 onomatopoeic sounds and picture cues, this clever take on the alphabet book lets readers fill in the story on their own. Though hints on the recto pages signal what might happen next, each double-page spread contains a surprise—including the constantly changing background colors. Paschkis’ folk-art–inspired illustrations, filled with movement, pattern, and color, practically leap off the page. The endpapers depict each of the letters in no particular order, with enough space between them that readers can practice letter knowledge.

An absolute zoo of an ABC book—in the best possible way. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-169-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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