In both form and content, these two board books beautifully represent baby and grown-up bonding, whether human or...

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YOU ARE MY BABY

SAFARI

From the You Are My Baby series

This split-level reading experience is a cozy delight.

Readers match animal babies pictured on each page of a smaller book (approximately 3 inches square) attached and nestled in the left-hand corner of the full-size board book, which features the corresponding parent animals. The simple text provides clues as to whose baby monkey, elephant, crocodile or elephant is whose. “You reach high for a treat,” reads the larger giraffe page. The smaller double-page spread featuring the giraffe calf answers, “You are my baby, little giraffe,” as the little one reaches for leaves held in its parent’s mouth. Siminovich, of the Petit Collage decorating line, uses her graphic, clean collage style to create appealingly simple parent-and-baby duos assembled with warmly colored and textured papers on delicately patterned backgrounds. You Are My Baby: Farm uses the same format to lovely effect with barnyard animals. Here, the vocabulary-building text includes the specific names for baby animals, such as piglet, calf, chick, lamb and foal. While grown-ups may want to practice manipulating the setup in advance, babies will enjoy the multiple opportunities to grab pages.

In both form and content, these two board books beautifully represent baby and grown-up bonding, whether human or animal. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0642-7

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded.

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THE ONE AND ONLY BOB

Tiny, sassy Bob the dog, friend of The One and Only Ivan (2012), returns to tell his tale.

Wisecracking Bob, who is a little bit Chihuahua among other things, now lives with his girl, Julia, and her parents. Happily, her father works at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary, the zoo where Bob’s two best friends, Ivan the gorilla and Ruby the elephant, live, so Bob gets to visit and catch up with them regularly. Due to an early betrayal, Bob doesn’t trust humans (most humans are good only for their thumbs); he fears he’s going soft living with Julia, and he’s certain he is a Bad Dog—as in “not a good representative of my species.” On a visit to the zoo with a storm threatening, Bob accidentally falls into the gorilla enclosure just as a tornado strikes. So that’s what it’s like to fly. In the storm’s aftermath, Bob proves to everyone (and finally himself) that there is a big heart in that tiny chest…and a brave one too. With this companion, Applegate picks up where her Newbery Medal winner left off, and fans will be overjoyed to ride along in the head of lovable, self-deprecating Bob on his storm-tossed adventure. His wry doggy observations and attitude are pitch perfect (augmented by the canine glossary and Castelao’s picture dictionary of dog postures found in the frontmatter). Gorilla Ivan described Julia as having straight, black hair in the previous title, and Castelao's illustrations in that volume showed her as pale-skinned. (Finished art not available for review.)

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded. (afterword) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299131-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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