Comfort and peace straight from the rabbit hole, an adjunct to rather than a replacement for Brown’s classic.

GOOD NIGHT, BUNNY

“Cute” as an adjective only begins to describe this soporific litany of “nighty-night”–worthy objects.

As depicted in the soft and lazy watercolors of classic picture-book fare, a little bunny begins the process of saying good night to the world. First come the swallows and the red sky they swoop through. Flowers, a spider, insects, mice, and other birds follow suit. The bunny makes its rounds as the day darkens, giving way to a large, cratered moon above swaying cattails. Back in its burrow, the bunny, surrounded by its family, tucks in its own bunny doll, doling out kisses, hugs, and cuddles before drifting off to sleep. More than a hare similar (pun intended) in form and content to Goodnight Moon, this offering also taps into toddlers’ deep-seated need for comfort and clarity. Sadly, not all the rhymes are consistent (“Good night, bluebells and nodding pansies. / Good night, dainty dozy daisies”) or scan with perfect clarity. Fortunately Yue’s art’s delicate balance between cutesy and cute-as-a-button distracts from the occasional hiccup in the text.

Comfort and peace straight from the rabbit hole, an adjunct to rather than a replacement for Brown’s classic. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-545-60335-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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A sweet holiday tale perfect for little readers.

SANTA MOUSE BAKES CHRISTMAS COOKIES

From the Santa Mouse series

Santa Mouse prepares cookies for St. Nick and the reindeer team.

Ordinarily, mice might be an unwelcome sight in a kitchen, but in his tiny suit, Santa Mouse makes a wonderful seasonal chef, baking holiday treats with the help of the elves. This tale, told in rhyming couplets, shows Santa Mouse stirring up the batter, making cookies in various shapes, and adding icing and sprinkles. Santa Claus is pleased with the snacks—Santa Mouse has even remembered to make some for the reindeer. The titular critter is irresistible, with a faux beard and striped mittens. The elves’ kitchen is something plucked straight from a child’s imagination, endearingly too large for the little helpers and even bigger compared with the tiny mouse. There are also some delicious details, like Santa Mouse’s sardine-can bed, his thimblelike sprinkle shaker, and the timer on the table set exactly to the 30 minutes described in the text. The story is well matched to the board-book format. The simple plot is easy for toddlers to follow, with read-aloud–friendly rhymes and lovely, engaging illustrations. Santa presents as White, while the elves vary in skin tone. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A sweet holiday tale perfect for little readers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3804-0

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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