WEMBERLY’S ICE-CREAM STAR

Henkes (Owen’s Marshmallow Chick, 2002, etc.) winningly brings another of his characters to the board-book crowd. Worried that she might drip on her new dress and that there might not be enough to share, Wemberly is creative in how she eats her special treat. An ice-cream star on a stick seems like the perfect snack on a hot day, but this little mouse is a bit concerned at first on how to stay clean and how to share her gift with her stuffed bunny friend, Petal. Grabbing “two bowls and two spoons and two napkins,” Wemberly patiently and carefully allows the ice-cream star to melt evenly into the two bowls giving her a neat and polite way to share. The friends cozy up to the table to share the ice-cream star soup and Wemberly, ever helpful, assists Petal in finishing her share. Henkes has mastered the art of transferring his mouse children to the simplicity required for a board book, creating new stories around well-loved figures. Pastel-colored pages highlight the simple text while facing pages depict Wemberly in the same soft colors set against an all-white background keeping the page clean and visually right for the audience. A sweet treat worth waiting for. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-050405-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2003

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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