While its conceit isn’t entirely successful, this jaunty book brims with positivity, and who can’t use a little more cheer?...

THIS BOOK

It’s baby’s first metafiction!

Brief introductions to a range of concepts culminate in an enthusiastic shoutout to “readers like you!” Relentlessly enthusiastic, this self-aware book charges through, informing readers about its many snippets of information. Peppy rhyming couplets exclaim that “THIS BOOK has shapes like circles and squares. / And fruit like bananas and apples and pears.” It’s a perky meter, so an abrupt alteration to the rhyme scheme on the last page sounds unexpectedly jarring. Like its narrative, the cartoon illustrations are also resolutely cheery, drawn with brilliant candy-colored hues and a touch of kawaii-like cuteness. Wide, round eyes and enormous grins personify the gamut of concepts, from the “BIG and small” kittens to the vivid paint splotches. A dizzying final page, with all the concepts clustered together in party hats to triumphantly celebrate the book’s readers, epitomizes both its most and least successful elements. There’s an awful lot of energy and heart, but its intent is never completely clear. Its metafictive theme is likely too sophisticated for the intended audience, and with only a smattering of concepts superficially discussed, it’s less a concept book and more a book about concept books.

While its conceit isn’t entirely successful, this jaunty book brims with positivity, and who can’t use a little more cheer? (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8075-7881-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for...

HELLO LAMB

This simple board book invites little ones to greet baby farm animals (including frog, bunny, and bee) with their corresponding sounds.

The first double-page spread greets readers with a bright yellow smiling sun and the text “Hello, Sun. / Hello, Day. / Wake up, babies. / Time to play!” Each succeeding spread has a distinct, gently patterned background, with very brief text on the verso (“Hello Puppy! / Woof Woof”). Filling up the recto is a vibrant illustration of the baby animal’s face, wide eyed and smiling, outlined in black. The final spread presents the face of a cute baby with chalky brown-gray skin, bright black eyes, and short black hair: “Goo Goo.” Babies and toddlers will enjoy looking at the baby faces, animals and human, and repeating the sounds. A companion book, Goodnight Bear, has a similar pattern of text and illustrations, though the palette is suitably darker. The moon, surprisingly, has its eyes shut, and succeeding spreads depict an owlet, a baby bat, a baby hedgehog, and other familiar nocturnal baby animals, all wide-awake and smiling. The final spread depicts a cute baby with pale skin, blond hair, and closed eyes.

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for the target audience. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0430-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more