What better way to deal with baby monsters than to tuck them safely into bed? Little monsters will try to put off the...

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE MONSTERS

A board book for older toddlers who like pretending to be just a little bit scared.

Young children will recognize themselves and their bedtime routines in the four-line rhymes that appear on verso, describing spread by spread eight monsters that they may soon meet in more menacing contexts. On the facing page, graphically designed toddler versions of each monster exhibit their defining characteristics. A square-headed “Frankenbaby” with bolts in his neck wears training pants, while a green zombie baby in a high chair has taken a bite out of the head of a gingerbread boy. An equally green adult zombie proffers a sippy cup. Similarly, a vampire girl hanging upside down from a shower-curtain rod is offered a pink toothbrush for her fangs. A small mummy brings a pile of books on outstretched arms to mama mummy for a “bed-tomb story.” “Loch Nessie,” “wolfboy,” “little Bigfoot,” and a pair of purple “gleeful goblins” round out the cast. The final pages show all the monsters in silhouette under a full yellow moon as they march off to bed in a backyard tent.

What better way to deal with baby monsters than to tuck them safely into bed? Little monsters will try to put off the inevitable bedtime with the demand, “read it again.” (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-10559-9

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Vibrant photographs—especially action shots—will capture children’s attention, build language skills and, one hopes, start...

FAMILIES

“We hope this book…will lead children and their parents to engage in conversation about their families.”

So begins this good-sized book, which is packed with photographs of families of many different sizes, shapes, ages and colors (although most wear casual clothing familiar to most American children). Bold, colorful type announces: “There are all kinds of families.” Engaging photographs throughout complement a simple text that informs readers about differences—such as big vs. small; genders and generations of parents; adoption vs. birth children. Positive similarities follow, as families get together for celebrations and family members help one another out and enjoy activities together. Only childless families are excluded, but that can be forgiven by the book’s noble, stated goal. Kelly adds an endnote to further encourage parents: “Recently, research psychologists have found that children who developed a strong family narrative from speaking with their parents about family history and hearing family stories, both good and bad, exhibited greater self-esteem….” As the photographs’ emotional spectrum covers the tiny range from cheerful to exuberant, it’s an open question whether this will encourage or inhibit truthful family-history revelations. However, the emphatic ending will certainly start a dialogue: “There are many different kinds of families. What about yours?”

Vibrant photographs—especially action shots—will capture children’s attention, build language skills and, one hopes, start conversations. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3053-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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It’s nothing new, but it’s also clearly heartfelt.

LOVE YOU MORE

A love song from parents to their child.

This title will seem quite similar to the many others about parents’ deep love for their children. The text is wholly composed of first-person declarations of parental love, and it’s juxtaposed with illustrations of the child with one or both parents. It’s not always clear who the “I” speaking is, and there are a few pages that instead use “we.” Most sentences begin with “I love you more” phrasing to communicate that nothing could undermine parental love: “I love you more than all the sleepless nights…and all the early, tired mornings.” The accompanying pictures depict the child as a baby with weary parents. Later spreads show the child growing up, and the phrasing shifts away from the challenges of parenting to its joys and to attempts to quantify love: “I love you more than all the blades of grass at the park…and all the soccer that we played.” Throughout, Bell’s illustrations use pastel tones and soft visual texture to depict cozy, wholesome scenes that are largely redundant of the straightforward, warm text. They feature a brown-haired family with a mother, father, and child, who all appear to be white (though the father has skin that’s a shade darker than the others’).

It’s nothing new, but it’s also clearly heartfelt. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0652-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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