Very sweet but not particularly fresh.




A celebration of the mother-child bond.

A title-page illustration shows a light-skinned woman leaning over a sleeping baby, also light-skinned. Only a final picture ever shows other people in the distance; otherwise, the book focuses on these two and the animals around them. The baby’s blue cap serves as the first of several visual cues that it’s a boy, though the text never specifies gender. Instead, words operate symmetrically with pictures to depict first “A cat has her kittens” on the opening verso, then “a dog has her puppies” on the facing recto. Turn the page to see “a sheep has her lamb,” and then the line “and I have you” accompanies a picture of the human mother cuddling the baby. Ensuing pages list more animal mother-and-baby pairings, and each list culminates with a new depiction of the human mother and her child, who is a bit older and more independent in successive spreads. They live on a farm that includes the named animal families and is near the habitats of wild animals that eventually enter the text as well. Repeated refrains affirm that mother and child will always have each other, and there’s certainly nothing in the idyllic, brightly colored watercolor and acrylic paintings to suggest any threat or sadness that could befall them—even the animals smile. The trade edition’s cover has an opening, framed cutout into which personalized mother-and-baby photos may be inserted.

Very sweet but not particularly fresh. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-553-51019-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

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


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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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.


A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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