This detailed book will be best enjoyed one-on-one by engaged adult-baby duos.

BUSY CITY

From the Indestructibles series

Vibrant color, diverse people, and assorted sounds welcome infants and toddlers to the metropolis.

Each of the five double-page spreads in this short book contains one sentence of spare text introducing the action (“Traffic zooms by”; “People shop and eat”). People presented are of various skin colors and hair colors and of a variety of ages, from kids to gray-haired older adults, and there is one woman in a hijab. She’s riding a bus, but young readers will also see women as a firefighter, a police officer, a bus driver, and as construction workers. Cartoonish illustrations are colorful, vivid, and detailed. Cats, dogs, and birds appear on most pages, and such onomatopoeic words as “chomp,” “swoosh,” “clank,” and “rustle” are written next to the person or thing making that sound. There are many interesting details to point out, identify, and talk about with a lap-sitting infant or toddler in the different locations of the city shown, including a residential neighborhood, a construction site, and a city park. The Indestructibles are not printed on board pages but on thin, flexible pages that are “chew proof, rip proof, non-toxic and 100% washable.” Co-publishing titles include Hello Farm! and My Neighborhood; the two are very similar to Busy City in illustration and text, but they do not include onomatopoeia, which seems a missed opportunity. Furthermore, My Neighborhood presents single-page scenes, making for busy and confusing spreads.

This detailed book will be best enjoyed one-on-one by engaged adult-baby duos. (Baby book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5235-0468-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.

THE NIGHT IS YOURS

On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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