WALK ON!

A GUIDE FOR BABIES OF ALL AGES

“Is sitting there on your bottom getting boring?” asks an unseen narrator of a roly-poly tot with one curl on his head, followed by the announcement, “It is time to learn how to walk!” Beginning with the instructions to stand up, Frazee centers said baby’s bottom smack in the middle of a double-paged spread, head peering over it and legs akimbo. From there, it’s all instructions and laughs as page by page he’s is encouraged to walk by selecting appropriate support, pulling himself to a standing position, balancing, breathing and just letting go. And falling down. And having a good cry. Running down the all-important sock, shoe and diaper check, is vital as well. Simple retro-style cartoon-like illustrations in black pencil and gouache use spot art to feature the toddler in yellow booties acting out the directions while quizzically and determinedly taking those all important first steps. Clever use of bold fonts plays up the tongue-in-cheek text and adds to the fun. Frazee’s saucy invitation to all generations to “walk on” has just enough kick and sass to incite action in babies (and grown-ups) everywhere. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-15-205573-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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If the point is to help children understand and accept their feelings, this effort is a failure. If the point is to sell...

KISS, KISS, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

None of the fish in this sea look like anything living outside the cartoon-cute world of Pout-Pout Fish, but that's just the beginning of the problems with this board-book addition to the franchise. The Pout-Pout Fish on the cover and every page of this offering doesn't look pouty at all. Slightly bemused, a bit surprised, maybe—but definitely not pouty. In fact, all of the cartoony creatures swimming in this fantasy sea share the same bug-eyed, slightly kissy-face expression. The rhyming message is that there are many ways to share it—a wave, a smile, holding hands (or fins), making silly faces, a hug, or a kiss—but there’s only one thing to call it: love. What is disturbing is that Mr. Fish seems to have only one choice—to accept love however it is offered. Giving children (or little fish) permission to trust their own feelings might be a more appropriate message.

If the point is to help children understand and accept their feelings, this effort is a failure. If the point is to sell Pout-Pout product, it might succeed. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30190-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 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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