A lovely and comforting addition to a charming series.

GIDEON & OTTO

From the Gossie & Friends series

Gideon the gosling loves toy Otto; Gideon loses Otto; Gideon finds Otto. Joy, oh joy.

Gideon and his toy octopus, Otto, are inseparable. They swim, play and read together. But one day, Gideon leaves Otto on a wall while he plays with his bunny friends. During their playful romp, Otto falls into the long grass. Gideon searches desperately until Otto rides out of the grass on a turtle’s back. There you have the entire tale, told simply, but conveying heartfelt emotion. Gideon, a new character in Dunrea’s sweet gosling series, like his predecessors, reflects very young readers’ concerns, experiences and confusions. Gideon and Otto are loving friends, no matter that one of them is an inanimate toy. His feelings of sadness and worry when Otto is missing are universal, as is his relief and happiness when they are reunited. The small 6 x 6 format is just right for little hands, as is the clarity of the design. Each page has one sentence in large typeface with an illustration above that perfectly matches the action and is surrounded by lots of bright white space. The illustrations are neatly outlined in black and are rendered in pen, gouache and ink on watercolor paper, with true shades of oranges, yellows and greens predominating.

A lovely and comforting addition to a charming series. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-618-43662-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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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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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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