Eye-catching art and simple, clear text plant the seeds for a young gardener.



A great guide to growing young gardeners!

This book lives up to its name with a straightforward question-and-answer format that’s perfect for interested toddlers and preschoolers. Children by a raised garden bed plant lettuce seeds with a “sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle. / Pat, pat, pat.” The first steps of planting peas are different, but all newly planted seeds need a drink. The garden rules of insect etiquette are clear. “How do you say hello to a worm? / Gently, very gently.” And to a ladybug? “Let her crawl onto your finger. / Count her spots. / Say, Hello, Ladybug! before she flies away.” A bee? “Look but don’t poke… / Listen but don’t grab.” As they follow the growth of their garden, the children experience the joy of feeling pea tendrils curling around their fingers, having a tea party inside a play hut made from pea plants and tall sticks, and making mud. Backmatter suggests creating a “dig zone” with a clear border so kids can play and the main garden can stay safe. Finally, the children get to taste the food they’ve grown. In a slight mismatch, the children plant lettuce and peas but carefully and joyfully harvest strawberries, carrots, and peas. Illustrations created with silkscreen and collaged in Photoshop pop against a white background and show children of various ethnicities. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Eye-catching art and simple, clear text plant the seeds for a young gardener. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-22679-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.


One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.


A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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