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AUNTIE AND ME

From the Karen Katz's Lift-the-Flap Books series

This book is such a pleasure it prompts the question: Can we have an uncle book next? (Board book. 1-3)

There are plenty of books about the love that mommy, dad, grandma, and/or grandpa feel for a child, but good luck finding a book about the special bond between a child and an aunt. This board book meets that need.

On each bright, cheery spread an aunt is shown playing with a niece or nephew. Two of the children present female; two present male. The last two scenes feature the same infant in a pink onesie. There are no mixed-race duos; each pair has similar skin tones, hair color and texture, etc. But in each case, the delight Auntie and toddler take in each other’s company is clear. On the first page a little girl practically leaps to open the lift-the-flap door on the opposite page because, “It’s Auntie!” This pattern of a question with the answer revealed behind an easily manipulated flap is repeated for every spread. One tot asks, “What’s in your purse, Auntie?” (a toy dinosaur). Another pair is playing hide-and-seek. Excursions to a fancy restaurant and the zoo are featured in the next two scenes. The final scene—of Auntie and child reading together—ends with “A big Auntie hug and kiss!” Katz’s bold, patterned illustrations, straightforward text printed in a clean type, oversized flaps, and a diverse cast of characters make this a fine choice for celebrating this special relationship.

This book is such a pleasure it prompts the question: Can we have an uncle book next? (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2923-9

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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FAMILIES BELONG

A joyful celebration.

Families in a variety of configurations play, dance, and celebrate together.

The rhymed verse, based on a song from the Noodle Loaf children’s podcast, declares that “Families belong / Together like a puzzle / Different-sized people / One big snuggle.” The accompanying image shows an interracial couple of caregivers (one with brown skin and one pale) cuddling with a pajama-clad toddler with light brown skin and surrounded by two cats and a dog. Subsequent pages show a wide array of families with members of many different racial presentations engaging in bike and bus rides, indoor dance parties, and more. In some, readers see only one caregiver: a father or a grandparent, perhaps. One same-sex couple with two children in tow are expecting another child. Smart’s illustrations are playful and expressive, curating the most joyful moments of family life. The verse, punctuated by the word together, frequently set in oversized font, is gently inclusive at its best but may trip up readers with its irregular rhythms. The song that inspired the book can be found on the Noodle Loaf website.

A joyful celebration. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22276-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU

A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of...

A mother’s observations of her new baby lead to a series of sweet comparisons to various animals.

“When I met you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. / I held you close so you were warm.” Teen author Marr (Made for You, 2014, etc.) uses playful yet comforting language in her picture-book debut. The baby’s squirming kicks remind her of a “lost kangaroo”; a lifting of the child’s head makes her think of a “curious lizard”; and the little one’s howl seems like that of a “lonely wolf.” Each of the child’s behaviors leads to a tender action taken by the mother: tucking the baby in, offering milk, and giving a bath. Each time a new creature is introduced, White gently changes the dominant color in the muted pastel palette of her watercolor and gouache illustrations. That hue is also reflected in the hand-lettered text, giving the overall design of the book a vintage feel. When the baby smiles, the mother knows “You are not a bunny-roo-lizard-wolf-kitten-piggy. You are my baby.” The final page shows the curled-up infant asleep in a pile of blankets.

A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of their families. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-16742-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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