A sweet welcome for a new baby.


Not just the eponymous Bear, but many friendly animals are headed somewhere special.

Simple, cumulative text translated from Dutch prompts readers to turn the pages as one anthropomorphic animal after another joins Bear on a walk through the forest. Each animal’s arrival on the scene provides a little more information about whom they are going to see. This pattern begins with Bear saying “I’m going to see some sleepy little eyes!” Squirrel mentions “cute little ears”; Fox, “a little pink nose”; Rabbit, a “teensy-weensy mouth”; Cat, “a soft little belly.” It’s Goat who finally fills in the whole picture: They “are going to see Baby Mouse! He was just born!” Diederen’s digital illustrations show the group growing in size and moving through space from left to right with each subsequent double-page spread until they arrive at the conclusion and gather around Baby Mouse, sound asleep in a bed of straw. There are no mouse parents about, which could prompt questions about who takes care of this new baby, but he’s certainly beloved by the crowd of animal friends. This book is all about celebrating a new baby rather than adjusting to its presence; the boldface cues in the text beg caregivers who are reading with children in their laps to point out each body part as they read and cuddle, offering loving tangible reinforcement to the text.

A sweet welcome for a new baby. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-60537-372-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2018

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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.


From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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From the Llama Llama series

In this board book designed for the littlest llama lovers, adorable-as-ever Llama Llama (Llama Llama Red Pajama, 2005, etc.) gets ready for some Halloween fun.

Dewdney’s characteristic spare, apt rhymes convey a lot of action in effortlessly readable fashion. A charming and simple introduction to Halloween and its associated activities, this title finds little Llama Llama choosing and carving a pumpkin, pouring candy into bowls, picking out a costume and, finally, trick-or-treating. The costume Llama Llama decides to don—pointy teeth and a black mask and cape—is enough to frighten and fool his friends but not readers, who will immediately recognize and smile at the silly little mini-Dracula. With Dewdney’s characters as expressive as ever, young readers will be drawn right into the holiday fun, eagerly anticipating which costume Llama Llama will choose and excited to see him scare his friends and score some candy at trick-or-treat. In the equally appealing companion title, Llama Llama Jingle Bells,the little fellow gets ready for Christmas, baking and decorating some cookies in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. This simple holiday title will win Llama Llama new fans, and old friends will want to add it and its companion to their collections. (Board book. 1-2)


Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-0451469786

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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