Though not all Papa’s answers will satisfy those of every Christian denomination, the Bible basics are here, and adults can...

GOD GAVE US ANGELS

From the God Gave Us series

Polar bears Papa and Little Cub have an important talk about angels—who and where they are, what they do, and what role they play in our lives—as they explore their Arctic habitat.

Angels pass along messages from God, serve God, sing and watch over all of us. In this latest in the God Gave Us series, Little Cub’s questions and comments are spot-on for a curious child. When Papa tells her that angels serve God and are always worshipping Him, Little Cub asks, “Does all that worshipin’ give them those halo thingies?” Papa’s answers are appropriate for Little Cub’s age, and he does not answer every query concretely—he isn’t sure why God doesn’t send angels to keep us from every hurt and sickness. Papa’s comment that we should be nice to all we meet as they may be angels in disguise nicely brings angels down to Earth and gives children a mission. Bryant’s soft watercolor illustrations show the tender love the father and daughter polar bears share. Many spreads depict an angel watching over the pair—behind a snowy hill, within a waterfall, in the shape of a cloud, flying in the night sky.

Though not all Papa’s answers will satisfy those of every Christian denomination, the Bible basics are here, and adults can tweak the text to suit the faith they want to pass on to their own lap-sitters. (Picture book/religion. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-60142-661-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 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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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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