While the writing is not as whimsical as in predecessors Cuddly Cow and Higgly Hen (both 2017), the prospect of pushing...

READ REVIEW

PORTLY PIG

From the Farm Friends Sound Book series

Portly Pig is much too clean and searches for the perfect muddy pool.

He soon discovers a good patch in the corner of a field and makes himself sufficiently dirty. When a brief rainstorm washes him clean, he quickly heads back to this new favorite spot to muck himself up all over again. While the story is slight, the key attraction is the large blue button/speaker on the cover that’s accessible on every page through a die-cut circle. When pushed, it activates a sound chip that produces realistic pig grunts and barnyard bird song. Scheffler uses richly colored gouache and a bold black outline to create playful and expressive farm critters, all with the artist’s signature circular, bulgy eyes. Each one-page scene is paired with a quatrain on a solid background on the opposite page to relay the simple tale. In the companion title, Gobbly Goat, the title character searches for something yummy to eat until he spies a bowl of strawberries and cream inside a farmhouse. He promptly breaks in, devours the treat, and eats the flowers in a vase as well. This offering in the series also employs a large button that bleats realistically when pushed. A button battery is secured behind a plastic panel in the back cover and can be accessed or replaced only with a tiny Phillips screwdriver.

While the writing is not as whimsical as in predecessors Cuddly Cow and Higgly Hen (both 2017), the prospect of pushing buttons will make this a toddler crowd pleaser. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9621-4

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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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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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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