I’M A HAPPY HUGGLEWUG

The titular critter—a plump, vaguely draconic monster with jester-hat horns and a very few pointy teeth in its smiling mouth—opens with its “Hugglewug Song,” introduces readers to its family and friends and, like a relentlessly cheery drill-sergeant, leads them through a variety of exercises from counting to I Spy. “My Hugglewug Lullaby” promises release, but no—turn the page and, “Let’s Sing Again!” The amount of visual stimulation on every page will overwhelm board-book–age children and their grown-ups alike; readers’ eyes will cross trying to keep track of the tiny, spinning figures. That’s not even mentioning the stomach-churning sweetness that pervades the whole: “Lola is so wuggly! I’m so snuggly! Baby is so Hugglewuggly!” Teletubbies on Red Bull. (2-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3981-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2008

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WAITING FOR BABY

One of a four-book series designed to help the very young prepare for new siblings, this title presents a toddler-and-mother pair (the latter heavily pregnant) as they read about new babies, sort hand-me-downs, buy new toys, visit the obstetrician and the sonographer, speculate and wait. Throughout, the child asks questions and makes exclamations with complete enthusiasm: “How big is the baby? What does it eat? I felt it move! Is it a boy or girl?” Fuller’s jolly pictures present a biracial family that thoroughly enjoys every moment together. It’s a bit oversimplified, but no one can complain about the positive message it conveys, appropriately, to its baby and toddler audience. The other titles in the New Baby series are My New Baby (ISBN: 978-1-84643-276-7), Look at Me! (ISBN: 978-1-84643-278-1) and You and Me (ISBN: 978-1-84643-277-4). (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84643-275-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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Though its single-minded focus on success offers positive role modeling, it needs to be used with other, more realistic...

POTTY TIME!

A toddler shares his glee at leaving diapers behind.

The book is completely child-focused, without an adult in sight. This youngster's independence influences each aspect of his toileting; he takes himself to the pot, and he uses a step stool to reach the sink to wash his hands after. There's no indication that any accidents may occur. The boy boasts, “When it's time, I know.” Brisk, rhyming phrases miss the mark. “Everyone uses the potty, / like me and Daddy and Mommy. / It's potty time, hooray! / I'm a big kid today.” With a little button nose and short spiky hair, the Caucasian tot is appealing. His favorite teddy bear plays the role of a loyal companion and even sits on his own potty just like the child. A die-cut–framed, battery-operated button (“flush me!”) triggers sound effects. Adults looking for a straightforward celebration of this milestone will gravitate toward this short selection, but there's no hint of the inevitable missteps young children face during the process.

Though its single-minded focus on success offers positive role modeling, it needs to be used with other, more realistic titles (and lots of patience). (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-35080-8

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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