FROM DAWN TO DREAMS

POEMS FOR BUSY BABIES

Archer offers a little book of baby rhymes with a feeling of the past. It’s hard to resist “Giggles”—“Wiggle my ears / And wiggle my nose, / ’Cause wiggles make giggles— / That’s how it goes.” Dad, Mom, PapPap and big brother all make appearances as the verse, always in Baby’s voice, addresses shadows, first steps, making messes, taking a bath and other baby events. Wakiyama’s pictures, generally on ivory backgrounds, use vintage colors, Kewpie-doll faces and ’40s-inspired motifs to cheery effect. A few full-page images add texture—for instance, father and child in a lemon-yellow convertible with the seats full of groceries and flowers as they drive along an ocean-side road. Some of the rhymes have a bit of clunky awkwardness, but the whole is a pretty, old-fashioned package. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7636-2467-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2007

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LEO’S TREE

In a sort of prequel to The Giving Tree, Leo’s father plants a “scratchy, branchy” linden in the yard to mark Leo’s birth. Boy and tree grow through several sets of seasons, until a second tree joins the first to mark the arrival of Leo’s little sister Sophie. Gardeners will cringe to see Leo’s dad carrying Sophie’s sapling by its trunk rather than its bundled root-ball, then planting it far too close to Leo’s tree—but Hilo’s earlier scenes of toddler and growing tree together on a sunlit lawn, surrounded by flowers, birds, and plush toys, do project an engagingly idyllic air, and the pared-down text—“Rosy cheeks rosy trees / Crunchy golden linden leaves / Leo creeping / Crawling standing . . . / Leaves and Leo all fall down!”—will draw new readers. A tried-and-true theme, pleasantly iterated. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-55037-845-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2004

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As a book, mildly satisfying; as a greeting card, rather expensive.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

A cheery board book that plays the familiar tune.

Anthropomorphic animals, digitally illustrated with a vintage style and palette, play different musical instruments as they make their ways to a cafe to celebrate Otter’s birthday. There’s not much of a story arc in its 10 pages, which lends the book a greeting-card feel. Each spread highlights an animal or two and their respective instruments: Bear plays a flute, Badger strums a guitar, Wolf drives by with a bass in its truck, Cat plays violin, and birthday boy Otter hears Moose on the piano. Press a shiny musical note in each illustration, and the book plays an instrumental line from the familiar song. The quality of the recordings is quite good, capturing the sound and tone of each instrument, and the culminating spread is an ensemble playing the full song. A “glowing candle” is promoted on the cover along with the book’s musical feature, and it appears on a cake on the final spread when all the animals from the prior pages gather to celebrate Otter’s special day. In a potentially confusing turn, Wolf holds the cake instead of playing bass (a fox has stepped in), and an opossum and a rabbit play tambourine, though they weren’t pictured with instruments earlier.

As a book, mildly satisfying; as a greeting card, rather expensive. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9943-7

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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