A purr-fectly good touch-and-feel book.

SCRATCHIE

A TOUCH-AND-FEEL CAT-VENTURE

Help Scratchie the cat sharpen their claws using a variety of textured surfaces.

While this board book might seem in the same vein as Pat the Bunny, this cat takes it to a new, slightly subversive level. Mischievous Scratchie, a charcoal-colored feline, likes nothing more than to “scratch stuff to keep my claws super sharp,” and as the deadpan narrator, Scratchie actively invites human readers along to “scratch things together!” With a determined expression, glowing golden eyes, and a body often posed in unusual angles, Scratchie isn’t an especially adorable cat. Yet kids will empathize with Scratchie’s intense desire to seek out new and novel experiences and textures. The touch-and-feel surfaces are nicely variable, including “rough paper towel” (oddly, rather soft fabric), a raised shiny silver pot, and corrugated cardboard pieces. The tactile elements are constructed well enough to stand up to little hands. The ending, in which a startled human enters the now-trashed kitchen and an unrepentant Scratchie wonders what “we should scratch tomorrow,” will serve as a sort of Rorschach test. For those familiar with the chaos cats can bring, this riotous ending might bring giggles, but it could leave more order-seeking toddlers unsettled. Everyone will leave satisfied by the very last page, though, as Scratchie invites readers to touch one final pleasant texture—Scratchie’s own luxurious fur.

A purr-fectly good touch-and-feel book. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3765-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.

THIS LITTLE BUNNY

Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Sweet—but more for adults than children.

ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD

A doting pair of adult bears follows a baby bear through a busy day.

These fully engaged caregivers are clearly awed by the little cub, starting with “You’re the morning sunshine” and ending with “you sleep so peacefully / beneath the twinkling stars.” In between, the baby bear paints a picture, sings with one adult, tickles with the other, drinks cocoa, takes a walk and flies a kite, rides a bike, and is playfully swung in the air before a bath. Much of the action is communicated only by the pictures. The tender rhyming verses focus on the wonder of familial love. Every other stanza ends with the refrain: “This world of ours is full of love / when you are here with me.” Curiously, although this cub has two present, caregiving adults, the narrative, presumably addressed to the child, uses the first-person singular. The baby bear is presented as gender-neutral, first in orange-and-green polka-dot pajamas and then in blue jeans with a white shirt graced with yellow ducks. Although neither adult bear is gendered in the text, the illustrations use stereotypical cues: One wears a yellow dress decorated with hearts; the other wears a striped shirt (and no trousers). No one can miss that the baby bear is the adults’ little darling.

Sweet—but more for adults than children. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-603-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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