Young dog lovers (and vehicle aficionados in the companion title) will enjoy perusing these images again and again.

DOGS

From the Look & Learn series

This up-close introduction to dogs uses vivid photos as illustrations.

Every other double-page spread reveals a different canine aspect, including their size, fur, senses of smell and more. The simple text, written in panels above the photos, shares just enough information for very young readers. Direct questions encourage grown-ups to engage little ones: “Which dog is bigger?” Facts about dogs (“Guess what? Your dog can tell whether you’ve been playing with another dog just by smelling you!”) appear on alternating spreads along with photos of various breeds in outdoor settings. One small quibble: A spread that reads “Dogs can hear sounds that humans cannot” shows a young Caucasian boy blowing what looks to be a garden-variety sports whistle and not a dog whistle. Things That Go, publishing simultaneously in the Look & Learn series, uses a similar format to catalog cars, trucks, airplanes, trains and boats. Individual parts of each vehicle are labeled with arrows and captions. In both titles, the final spread encourages readers to review the vehicles presented or to point out different aspects of dogs mentioned on subsequent pages.

Young dog lovers (and vehicle aficionados in the companion title) will enjoy perusing these images again and again. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4263-1705-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 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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