Despite (or perhaps because of) the odd bits, this book successfully celebrates the private, gleeful, imaginative world of...

A GREAT BIG CUDDLE

POEMS FOR THE VERY YOUNG

Short poems and accompanying illustrations make up this word-format poetry anthology for little ones.

Thirty-five poems run the gamut from high-spirited wordplay for very young listeners (“Kippy-cuppy / Kippy-cuppy / Cup, cup, cup”) to relatively more complex ideas (“I’m a very, very, very slow train / And I’m very, very late again”). Some poems validate the strong emotions all children feel at some time, such as “I Don’t Want,” “I Am Hungry,” and “I Am Angry,” while others nestle into their private worlds: “You fell off the table / And landed on your head. / I picked you up / And put you to bed,” with the accompanying illustration showing a teddy bear tucked into bed. Riddell’s fluid watercolor-and-pencil illustrations bring a grace to each poem, no matter what its subject, and he depicts many ethnicities of children (in addition to animals and nonscary monsters). The text changes size and color with each page and often within the poem itself, a fine detail in this well-designed book. Some poems are strange (“Why did the man bend down low? / Why did the man eat some snow?”), reflecting the bemusement very small children feel at the doings of adults. The poem titled “Don’t Squash” shows an elephant who’s just stepped on something that may be a jelly doughnut, but the red ooze it splatters may provoke more than a few questions.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the odd bits, this book successfully celebrates the private, gleeful, imaginative world of toddlers. (Picture book/poetry. 1-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8116-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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An acceptable and sturdy addition to the Easter basket for baby bunnies deemed too young to handle Dorothy Kunhardt's more...

FIVE LITTLE BUNNIES

Following on the successful Five Little Pumpkins (2003), Yaccarino teams with Rabe for bunnies.

The five pastel bunnies are cute enough, and the rhymes are accurate, if somewhat wordy for toddlers. But without a clear one-to-one relationship between the words and the pictures, it is not always clear which bunny is speaking and what is being counted. The bunnies, identified as first, second, and so on, hop around the pages instead of staying in a consistent order as the rhyme implies. Naming them by color might have been a better choice, but that would mean abandoning the finger-play counting-rhyme formula. The children who show up to hunt the eggs are a multicultural cast of cartoonish figures with those in the background drawn as blue and green silhouettes. Though the text on the back cover invites children to count the eggs, there is no hint as to how many eggs they should find. Neither the verse nor the pictures provide counting assistance. The youngest children will not care about any of this; they will be content to point out the different colors of the bunnies and the patterns on the eggs.

An acceptable and sturdy addition to the Easter basket for baby bunnies deemed too young to handle Dorothy Kunhardt's more satisfying but fragile classic, Pat the Bunny. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-225339-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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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