This premature introduction to a classic character is little more than an excellent bit of marketing to eventual consumers...

ANNE'S FEELINGS

INSPIRED BY ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

Fans of L.M. Montgomery will enjoy the whimsical art and brief text inspired by the Anne of Green Gables novels.

Hill is well acquainted with the characters and scenes. She designed the covers and interior art for the 2014 reissue of the series. As she did in Anne’s Colors and Anne’s Numbers (2018), she reduces iconic scenes familiar to Anne Shirley’s many fans to preschool concepts. Commonplace emotions that can be summarized in one word (“angry,” “scared,” “happy,” “surprised”) become images recognizable to even very young children. More abstract concepts (“calm,” “brave,” “hopeful,” and the oh-so-Anne “depths of despair”) may not be comprehensible to children under 3. Hill’s appliqué technique uses scraps of fabric and visible stitching to create an old-fashioned feel but does not convey the subtleties of complex emotions. As in the original stories, all the characters are white; Anne’s braids are orange bundles of embroidery floss. Anne’s Alphabet (published simultaneously) pairs each letter with a character or plot development from the original novels. Adults with fond memories of the series will be delighted by “K is for kindred spirit” or “L is for Lake of Shining Waters.” Young children will just be mystified.

This premature introduction to a classic character is little more than an excellent bit of marketing to eventual consumers of the original. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7352-6287-4

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful.

EGGS ARE EVERYWHERE

An interactive egg hunt with turning-wheel and lift-the-flap elements.

This board book begins by directing readers to find the hidden eggs. Each wheel—there are four in all set into the interior pages—has several different eggs on it, and turning it reveals an egg in a little die-cut window. Spinning it further hides the egg behind one of two lift-the-flap panels—two baskets, for example—and readers must guess behind which they’ll find the egg they have chosen to track. A diagram on the back provides instructions for use, likely more helpful to caregivers than to little ones. There is no narrative in this book; it’s simply page after page of different directives along the lines of “Guess which door!” As a result, the focus is really on manipulatives and the illustrations. Fortunately, Kirwan’s spring-themed artwork is gorgeous. The backdrop of each page is flower- and leaf-themed with warm spring hues, echoing the artwork of Eastern European hand-stenciled Easter eggs, two of which appear at the end of the book. The animals, like the smiling snail and mischievous mice, are reminiscent of classic European fairy-tale creatures. The only human in the book is a dark-skinned child with tight, curly hair. The moveable pieces largely work, though at times the necessary white space under the flaps interrupts the illustration awkwardly, as when the child’s hands suddenly develop large oval holes if the spinner is not in the correct position. Overall, it’s more game than book.

There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7457-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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