Cheery characters in bright spring shades usher in the season.

BABY LOVES SPRING!

A toddler in bright red galoshes and a rubber-duck yellow raincoat splashes through her world.

Her yard is her domain. All by herself, the little one peers behind or jumps through the lush outdoors, abetted by sturdy-enough flaps. “What is squiggling in the dirt? / [lift flap] Here are some wiggly worms!” Other flaps offer surprises best viewed from a distance; leaves cover robins in the tree, and the rain falls from behind the cloud. The final spread opens the gate and shows everything uncovered previously. The little tyke’s exuberance is convincingly childlike: “Oh no! Those are big raindrops!” The substantial flaps are clearly identifiable and easy to manipulate for tots just gaining dexterity. The straightforward question-and-answer format invites participation as well. Bright, swirling patterns on butterflies and polka-dot frogs add a gentle whimsy. Companion Baby Loves Summer serves up fun in the sun with the delightful squirt of a hose and the same effortless interactive elements.

Cheery characters in bright spring shades usher in the season. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2745-7

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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