SLEEP, BABY, SLEEP

Soft watercolor illustrations and soothing rhymes encourage baby to rise, soar, laugh and shine. Adapted from a Mother Goose poem, this exhortation delivers hushed good wishes while emphasizing character traits that make for a happy life. Children should shine “like the firefly who glows / no matter how the darkness grows.” Love’s language lulls using a rhyme scheme and syllabic stresses that establish a comforting cadence, much like a rocking chair’s gentle beat. Her melodic messages may, however, exceed the scope of a tiny child’s understanding. Sometimes the language grows so sentimental it becomes clunky and a bit sappy: “From our arms you’ll go / unfurling like a butterfly….” Van Lieshout’s wonderfully saturated watercolors achieve greater success expressing parental love and the promise of a life well lived. Loose, self-assured black brushstrokes appear on swaths of graduated color, carving out shapes (horses, dogs, flowers, ducks) with economy. Fireflies blink, doves coo, a hound shakes his jowls. While words melt away into simple rhythms, the atmospheric artwork pinpoints ineffable feelings—the sense of freedom brought on by a breeze, the possibility invoked by starlit sky. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-24753-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2009

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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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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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