SLEEPY TIME

From the Get Ready Board Books series

A sweet and simple look at bedtime in the Western world

This wordless going-to-bed board book is a cozy way to end the day.

First published in Spain, the story follows a light-skinned, ethnically ambiguous child through the bedtime routine. Children from Western countries will no doubt recognize the protagonist’s nighttime ritual as a mirror of their own, including bathing in a bathtub full of water and bubbles, using a Western toilet, and brushing teeth in front of a bathroom mirror. The child’s adult caregiver is a loving secondary presence, there to wash the child’s hair, read a bedtime story, and banish the monsters from under the bed—without ever drawing attention away from the child. Although the protagonist ends the book wearing pink pajamas and a barrette, laudably, both the child and the adult can be read as gender neutral. The ink-and-watercolor drawings employ a soothing, pastel palette ideal for creating a cozy, going-to-bed atmosphere. The images are full of movement and joy, and they provide the faintest outline of plot. However, the large amount of white space may hinder the book’s appeal for repeated readings: It only takes a few reads to notice all of the details, and the lack of visual intricacy may limit possibilities for creative storytelling, something that is particularly important for image-only texts like this one.

A sweet and simple look at bedtime in the Western world . (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3181-2

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

BYE-BYE BINKY

From the Big Kid Power series

Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end.

This book seeks to use the power of persuasion to vanquish that most formidable of opponents: toddlers.

In this entry in the Big Kid Power series, a little black girl makes no bones about the fact that pacifiers (or “binkies”) are strictly baby territory. When she was little she needed one, but that was then. Whether she’s tired, sad, or hungry, there are other ways of being comforted: hugs and polite requests, for instance. After she gives her binky to a baby and bids it a very clear goodbye, the book ends with a triumphant, “I’M A BIG KID!” Using a striking color combination of orange, brown, and black, van Lieshout keeps her pages bold and bright, complementing the simple vocabulary. Such declarations as, “Do I still have a binky? // NO, BIG KIDS DON’T NEED A BINKY. / NOPE!” leave scant wiggle room for argument. In her author’s note at the end, van Lieshout says that after speaking to many parents about how they helped their kids bid their pacifiers adieu, “many of them had in common…a ritual of some sort.” The ritual here seems to be giving the pacifier away, though it may be missed by many readers. Companion title I Use the Potty uses a similar approach, with a proud, white boy as its guide.

Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3536-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

PLAY WITH YOUR PLATE!

From the Mix-and-Match Book series

Playing with your food is allowed (and encouraged!) here.

An interactive concept book relating to food, colors, and shapes for the preschool set.

When children open the book they will find four small books arranged as a square. The two on the left open to the left, the two on the right open to the right. When all four books are open it looks like a place setting, with a plate full of food. The books have illustrations of food with different shapes: circles (slices of kiwi, a bowl of guacamole) and triangles (a pizza slice, a watermelon wedge); different colors: red (kidney beans, red miso soup, tomatoes), yellow (corn bread, a taco, pineapple), green (peas, lettuce, edamame); and food types: fruits, vegetables, sushi, pizza, pasta. The book suggests some plate arrangements children can make: “Can you make a plate of only triangles or circles?” “Can you make a plate of only vegetables or fruits?” or “Can you make a plate of your favorite foods?” But the possibilities are many, and readers can come up with their own combinations—including matching the plate edges or the accompanying flatware. Adults can also use the book as a springboard for a playful conversation on food and nutrition.

Playing with your food is allowed (and encouraged!) here. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3907-1

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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