The text’s repeated invitation to shake this fake snow globe will frustrate 21st-century children, who expect more from...

MY SNOW GLOBE

A SPARKLY PEEK-THROUGH STORY

This board book offers sturdy pages that can be handled more roughly than the breakable knickknack it tries to emulate.

A circular clear plastic window dotted with sparkling glitter “snow” reveals decorative cutouts reminiscent of holiday greeting cards. These pages are cleverly layered, but the text and pictures don't always match. The second stanza invites readers to “follow the footprints,” but the footprints in the pictures are indistinct, failing to deliver on an implied game. Rhyming verses set in arcs to echo the rounded shape of a snow globe point out some detail of each animal's behavior or home. The final page shows previously introduced animals—foxes, rabbits, moose, raccoons, and owl—in relation to one another, some snuggled belowground and others foraging above. This might clarify some of the rather difficult vocabulary and help young children understand what a “den” and “burrow” are, but introducing a chipmunk to the scene may confuse observant readers. A cardinal flits across each spread until landing in its winter nest, which also houses a mama bird and three babies—a distressingly inaccurate depiction of the avian life cycle in winter.

The text’s repeated invitation to shake this fake snow globe will frustrate 21st-century children, who expect more from interactive books. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-92176-3

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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