Lush illustrations and lulling, playful verse create a warm and wonderful bedtime hug.

AS BABIES DREAM

A bedtime story bursting with strong, quiet love.

Hinting at a stunning sunset, illustrations in deeply vibrant, softly dappled oranges, reds, and purples begin this gentle nighttime story of animal parents and offspring settling in for a night’s rest. The text on each page follows a soothing pattern but also plays with both internal and end rhymes for an added treat. “As the crows fly / and the rivers flow, // As the eagles cry / and the winds blow,” the book opens. Later: “As the rabbits hop / and the owls call, // As the leaves drop / and the rains fall,” it continues pages later, still the same sentence. Young listeners are introduced to several birds, farm animals, and woodland mammals as well as frogs, turtles, and snakes. (There’s also a lion family, quite out of place but useful for the rhyme.) By the end of the story, it is now a starry moonlit night illustrated in dark reds, purples, and blues, and readers have moved from wildlife to city life, with the sentence finally concluding: “As the stars gleam / high above, // the babies dream / safe in our love.” The final image frames five different families in urban windows glowing with that love. The illustration suggests both family and racial diversity and includes what appear to be single-parent, two-parent, same-gender, and multigenerational families of White, Asian, and Black origin. In one family, the father wears a kippah. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Lush illustrations and lulling, playful verse create a warm and wonderful bedtime hug. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3681-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 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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