Nothing flashy or overly ambitious, this small board book starring an odd-looking little monster is a quirky way to...

See what Monster’s day is like, from his morning stretch till he returns to his bed at the end of a long day.

Fuzzy and gray, with blue eyebrows and two sharp teeth (one upper, one lower), Monster is a hand-felted creation by fiber artist Gleiner. To create the illustrations, she poses and arranges Monster along with props made of fiber and other materials and then photographs the tableaux. The process results in 3-D images with a whimsical feel. The intentionally simple storyline follows Monster through the course of a typical day. He eats breakfast, goes to work, eats lunch, takes a nap and walks his dog. In the evening, he eats dinner (a plate of spaghetti and meatballs that, upon closer inspection, appear to be orange yarn and red pom-poms), plays his guitar, takes a bath, brushes his teeth (all two of them) and reads a bit before bed. Monster’s day features many ordinary actions that children either accomplish themselves or see their parents perform. Sharp-eyed children will be intrigued to see that the upper tooth migrates back and forth from one side of Monster’s mouth to the other as the day progresses.

Nothing flashy or overly ambitious, this small board book starring an odd-looking little monster is a quirky way to introduce little ones to the concept of a daily routine and its constituent parts. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936669-26-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: blue manatee press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015


An upbeat early book on feelings with a simple storyline that little ones will respond to.

This simplified version of Diesen and Hanna’s The Pout-Pout Fish (2008) is appropriate for babies and toddlers.

Brief, rhyming text tells the story of a sullen fish cheered up with a kiss. A little pink sea creature pokes his head out of a hole in the sea bottom to give the gloomy fish some advice: “Smile, Mr. Fish! / You look so down // With your glum-glum face / And your pout-pout frown.” He explains that there’s no reason to be worried, scared, sad or mad and concludes: “How about a smooch? / And a cheer-up wish? // Now you look happy: / What a smile, Mr. Fish!” Simple and sweet, this tale offers the lesson that sometimes, all that’s needed for a turnaround in mood is some cheer and encouragement to change our perspective. The clean, uncluttered illustrations are kept simple, except for the pout-pout fish’s features, which are delightfully expressive. Little ones will easily recognize and likely try to copy the sad, scared and angry looks that cross the fish’s face.

An upbeat early book on feelings with a simple storyline that little ones will respond to. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-374-37084-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014


From the Boynton on Board series

Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here.

The favorite game of toddlers gets a dino twist.

A large dinosaur tries to outsmart a smaller companion when the duo play peekaboo together. The big dino naïvely believes they won’t be noticed behind or under sundry hiding places, but the little pal always finds their playmate. Young listeners will giggle as the large dino attempts to outwit the little one, but in vain; in every instance, the diminutive, overalls-clad dino calls out a triumphant “Peekaboo!” How come? Is it because thin tree trunks and a potted plant can’t conceal the large dino’s frame? Do the big dino’s bold, flower-print shirts stick out a mile? Even when the large dinosaur attempts an aerial hiding place, they discover that ruse doesn’t, ahem, fly, nor does hiding in a crowd wearing a Where’s Waldo?–esque red-striped cap and T-shirt do any good. In a display of good sportsmanship, the big dino concedes at the end the game was fun. The youngest audiences, all of whom will have likely engaged in marathon peekaboo sessions themselves, will undoubtedly scramble to play again. Besides stimulating playtime, this adorable board book, expressed in lilting rhymes, boosts vocabulary development through the use of some common prepositions (behind, in) and adverbs (here, there, everywhere). The illustrations are sweetly engaging; the round cutout on the front cover invites youngsters to play peekaboo games with adult partners and others. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-66592-840-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022