With its companion title, a playful romp in a please-touch-and-explore world.

READ REVIEW

PAT-A-CAKE

Moving on from baked goods, a diverse group of toddlers pat everything from an acorn to a puddle.

“Pat a kiwi. Pat a peach. / Pat a plump tomato. // Pat a pickle, / cold and bumpy. / Pat a brown potato.” Barrett’s verse scans with a pleasingly jaunty rhythm. Pham’s stylized cartoons are done in a muted color palette; eye-catching patterns on the clothing and in the backgrounds infuse the scenes with a lively energy. The last two double-page spreads skillfully bring the energy down as a pair of brown-skinned siblings pat Mommy, Dad and each other before patting a pillow and teddy at bedtime. The sister book, All Fall Down, has a longer, rhymed text but the same buoyant energy and equally diverse cast. On the first double-page spread, a Caucasian boy and a girl of African descent stack a tower of alphabet blocks and joyfully topple them over on the verso as the text exclaims, “ALL FALL DOWN!” This pattern is repeated as gravity gets the better of a trio of tykes constructing a dam in a stream, a highchair-confined girl building a mountain of mashed potatoes, and an Asian family enjoying a game of “Ring-Around-the-Rosie.” In both books, some parents may cringe at little ones climbing a tree and cavorting around a stream unsupervised and patting a caterpillar (some varieties are harmful to the touch) in the lighthearted scenes, but youngsters will recognize the exuberance represented here as their own.

With its companion title, a playful romp in a please-touch-and-explore world. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4358-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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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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Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead.

THE ITSY BITSY BUNNY

An Easter-themed board-book parody of the traditional nursery rhyme.

Unfortunately, this effort is just as sugary and uninspired as The Itsy Bitsy Snowman, offered by the same pair in 2015. A cheerful white bunny hops through a pastel world to distribute candy and treats for Easter but spills his baskets. A hedgehog, fox, mouse, and various birds come to the bunny’s rescue, retrieving the candy, helping to devise a distribution plan, and hiding the eggs. Then magically, they all fly off in a hot air balloon as the little animals in the village emerge to find the treats. Without any apparent purpose, the type changes color to highlight some words. For very young children every word is new, so highlighting “tiny tail” or “friends” makes no sense. Although the text is meant to be sung, the words don't quite fit the rhythm of the original song. Moreover, there are not clear motions to accompany the text; without the fingerplay movements, this book has none of the satisfying verve of the traditional version.

Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5621-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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