Unlike many didactic social-skills training texts, this kindhearted board book will resonate with its young audience.

FEEL BETTER, DADDY

A STORY ABOUT EMPATHY

From the Bright Start Right Start series

A preschool-age child models ways to help an ailing father get well soon.

While some books about emotional intelligence can be quite preachy, this “story about empathy” sets a sweet, child-friendly tone. A young, pale-skinned but otherwise ethnically ambiguous protagonist notices Daddy’s red nose and sneezing and decides to take over as caregiver for the day. The child reads him a rollicking pirate story, complete with voices; draws him a picture using “every single color from my crayon box”; and snuggles up so they can nap together. These actions feel genuine and accessible, all things toddler listeners could successfully emulate in their own lives. It’s not overly heavy either, with breezy line drawings that sketch round, oversized heads that draw attention to facial expressions and a limited grayscale palette with a cheerful peachy-orange accent color. A light sense of humor pervades, such as a helpful pup, tissues perched precariously on its head, or a dubiously delicious homemade soup. The child straightforwardly narrates the thought process of comforting Daddy, allowing readers to further empathize. With pages composed of unusual, coated stock, the book is sturdy and water-resistant, though its moderately rough texture isn’t as welcoming as its warm story. A companion book about gratitude starring a ginger-haired family holds similarly familiar scenarios.

Unlike many didactic social-skills training texts, this kindhearted board book will resonate with its young audience. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-304-8

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Words & Pictures

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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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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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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