Slim? Fleeting? Predictable? Yes, but the youngest listeners won’t mind. Sure to inspire lots of cuddles and lip smacks....

A KISS LIKE THIS

From the ...Like This series

Murphy (Utterly Lovely One, 2011) produces another bright slip of a title just right for the youngest toddlers.

With a Valentine-ready cover in red, pink and white and amusing split-page flaps revealing a silly series of animal kisses, this book will be a popular gift for little ones. Each spread features a vibrantly hued child/parent pair of creatures, including giraffes, mice, fish, bees, elephants, owls and bunnies. The black, smudgy hand-lettered text describes the different kinds of kisses: “gentle and tall,” “fuzzy and buzzy” and “long and toot-tooty.” Each phrase ends with an ellipsis prompting readers to flip the half page to reveal “like this!” and an eyes-closed buss. By the book’s end, all the pairs are busy smooching. “My, oh my—look!  Everybody’s kissing! / Now there’s only one kiss missing…. // Your kiss! / Like this!”

Slim? Fleeting? Predictable? Yes, but the youngest listeners won’t mind. Sure to inspire lots of cuddles and lip smacks. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6182-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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Cute and sprightly but not a standout.

MOO, BAA, FA LA LA LA LA!

Deck the stalls?

A bevy of barnyard animals, a cat, and some dogs get fully into the Christmas spirit by sprucing up the farm with colorful decorations, including holly berries and sparkling baubles. They have a great time and sing while going about their merry chores in a manner somewhat in keeping with the rhythm of the classic tune “Deck the Halls.” (In fact, a flock of sheep are shown holding song sheets for it.) As might be expected with these particular celebrants, some of the familiar lyrics are altered just a bit; for instance, “boughs of holly” is “translated” as “cows and holly.” Adult readers expecting the rhythm here to work exactly as it does in the original will be disappointed, because it doesn’t—it’s clunky. This is merely a brief, lightweight spoof of the familiar ditty, so it’s recommended that grown-ups read rather than sing this—except for that final line!—to very young targeted audiences, who may be unfamiliar with the actual song anyway. Some fun is still to be had in the illustrations, however. The spirited, wittily expressive animal characters are depicted having a fine time romping about and producing a variety of onomatopoeic sounds throughout. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Cute and sprightly but not a standout. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66591-435-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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