Little ones will enjoy these jammie-clad jams, though the book may inspire more dancing than snoozing.

GO GO GORILLAS

A ROMPING BEDTIME TALE

Zoo gorillas aren’t lazy slugabeds—the secret revealed!

At this zoo, the great apes come at the end, and kids are usually happy to ride on past. “They claim apes are dull. They say, ‘Apes are boring!’ / ‘This one is yawning! And this one is snoring!’ ” After the humans are gone though, the gorillas get up and have a giant feast, capped with a marshmallow roast. Then zookeeper Jungle Jed shoos them to bed…but they don’t stay there. The record albums come out, and the dance-floor lights flash. “Some tango, some Charleston, / one does the fox-trot. / But Baby is old school: / he does the robot!” (Caregivers may find this construction of “old school” mystifying.) Jungle Jed shuts them down, but the sneaky simians resume their party once he’s gone. Jed breaks up their conga line by shaking his fist…and then the rhythm gets him; everyone dances until dawn! Wensink’s first book for children would be just another zoo-after-dark rhyme were it not for Wragg’s bright, bold acrylics. Goofy, grinning gorillas getting their grooves on cavort across the pages. The jewel-toned, full-bleed illustrations resemble cutouts and have charisma to spare.

Little ones will enjoy these jammie-clad jams, though the book may inspire more dancing than snoozing. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-238118-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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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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