Likable art and a peaceable concept.

READ REVIEW

SHALOM BAYIT

A graceful observation of various calm and loving animal and human homes.

In this pleasant, nature-inspired board book, readers see various animals living in “shalom bayit”—“quiet places, peaceful homes”—before the book closes on a human Jewish family relaxing in their house. Peppy rhyming couplets—“A turtle makes a sandy mound. / A worm lives safely underground”—have a nice sound to them, and the short tidbits of information they impart about the different habitats and shelters of disparate forest animals are accurate. With sweetly anthropomorphized animals, complete with serene smiles and rosy cheeks, this is nature at its most passive and tranquil. Gauzy, multilayered illustrations feel inspired by the indistinct look of watercolors, and there’s plenty of charm in the busy landscapes and scurrying gray squirrels or big-eared mice. Botanical elements are especially well rendered. At points, this chill vibe feels too sedate, especially when it extends to the scene with the human family, as those three kids sitting suspiciously still in their tidy living room may not exactly mirror reality. While the book’s connection to its overall concept of “shalom bayit,” or domestic harmony, feels rather tenuous, it may speak to some Jewish households and would be a welcome book for any nature-loving toddler.

Likable art and a peaceable concept. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-4247-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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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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A sweet, colorful start for a Christian spiritual journey.

BECAUSE GOD LOVES ME

A cheery child gives thanks to God.

“When I see a rainbow / High up in the sky / I say a little prayer of thanks, / And here’s the reason why: // Because God loves me!” This board book’s focus is the comforting notion that God loves all his children, and no matter what, he will always look out for them. The text follows an ABCB rhyme scheme, breaking after every stanza to repeat the phrase “Because God loves me!” The small, light-skinned child has spiky brown hair and wears a dress; both the child and a chubby accompanying dog are appealingly illustrated with a bright, simple color palette and scratchy lines that appear to have been made with colored pencil. God is the only name given for the deity, implying a primarily Christian audience. The book’s message is clear, and its construction is sturdy, suiting this well to parents who are beginning to have conversations with their little readers regarding their beliefs.

A sweet, colorful start for a Christian spiritual journey. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58925-237-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2016

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