Let this be the first first-word book to pull from the shelf.

HENRY FINDS HIS WORD

Seeing that baby talk isn’t working as well as he’d like, Henry decides to find his first word. 

Inaugural-word picture books remain perennial favorites, and this one distinguishes itself by committing wholeheartedly to little Henry’s perspective. Clear pencil outlines, matte pastel colors, and flat forms and backgrounds cohere to offer the softly benign, limited viewpoint of a baby. Henry’s wide face and teeny eyes anchor the artwork, imparting emotion with economy, and children might enjoy articulating the feelings behind his mild expressions. Sympathetic narration further explores Henry’s (often funny) frustrations, pleasures and thought processes. “It would help if he knew what to look for. But Henry wasn’t sure what words looked like.” The words “big,” “fuzzy,” “prickly,” “long” and “short” follow, each appearing as the shapes and textures they denote. The puffy, woolly outlines of “fuzzy” look soft to the touch, and “long” stretches out along the top of a dachshund’s back. Henry pets a fuzzy bear, feels prickly grass, gazes up at the towering letters of “BIG.” Here’s exactly how a baby decodes and interprets the world around him, which can be a scary place when mama isn’t in sight! Suddenly seemingly alone, Henry’s first word bursts forth: “MAMA.” And from there, as all mothers know, it never stops.

Let this be the first first-word book to pull from the shelf. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3990-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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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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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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