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



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 ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers.


A chunky board book about colors features photographs of dogs and incorporates many interactive elements.

Even the front cover of this title is interactive. Pull a large red tab, and a bulldog’s head moves back and forth as he chews on the shoelace of a red tennis shoe. Inside, further interactive features, rhyming text, and illustrations featuring cute pups and their adorable antics await. For example, the orange pages offer a collage of pumpkins, autumn foliage, puppies, and a cat, reading: “Orange the patch of pumpkins, / Orange the autumn leaves, / Orange the frumpy, napping cat… / that I chase up a tree.” One of the pumpkins is a flap that conceals the face of a precious pup, and another, larger flap hides a pop-up tree branch on which an orange kitty perches. Other pages incorporate some more noxious surprises, such as: “Green the swamp I love to swim in, / Green the summer grass, / Green the color of the air… / when my dog food gives me gas.” Pull the tab here to trigger a large green cloud that emanates from the back end of a suitably embarrassed-looking basset hound.

This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4986-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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Fun format; bland text.


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: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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