While the bedtime-as-recipe contrivance may be a little sophisticated for toddlers, the cozy charm within these pages makes...

RABBIT PIE

A bunny mama helps her six children get ready for bedtime in this British import that was originally published as a full-size picture book.

The first double-page spread summarizes the action ahead, as an ingredient list and the subsequent pages illustrate each stage of the “recipe”: “First, gather together your ingredients. / One game of hide-and-seek / One bath / Six pairs of pyjamas....” Ives’ softly colored art, which looks to be watercolor, is the true attraction here. From hiding in plain sight to squirting toothpaste all over the bathroom, the antics of these chubby bunnies are recognizably toddlerlike. While their mother’s saintly patience is a bit unrealistic, she’s a comforting presence in her blue, polka-dot dress and pristine apron. The shrunken trim size diminishes the quality of the smaller details, but there are enough delightful images here to make it work reasonably well as a board book.

While the bedtime-as-recipe contrivance may be a little sophisticated for toddlers, the cozy charm within these pages makes for a comforting lap read. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-84643-513-3

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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A fun but inessential novelty, as much toy as book.

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE

A familiar song repackaged as a board book doubles as a finger puppet.

Many a caregiver has sung this refrain to a newborn or toddler, ignoring the decidedly sad lyrics of the original. Magsamen lays claim and sweetens it up. She uses only the chorus and changes the last line to “I’ll give you lots of hugs… / and kisses every day” instead of the expected “Please don’t take my sunshine away.” Her cheery artwork, reminiscent of applique, recalls the song’s country-music roots and is anything but sad. The pages are decorated with hearts and cuddly-looking caregiver-child animal pairs—foxes, skunks with sunny yellow umbrellas, bunnies, raccoons, and squirrels. The thick, heart-shaped pages include a circular die-cut hole through which readers might poke the smiling felt sun puppet attached to the back cover. A finger inserted from the back makes the sun wiggle and will capture even the youngest baby’s attention. The puppet feature does not obstruct the initial page turns, but when a toddler says, “Do it again” (as they doubtless will), quickly re-positioning the finger puppet is somewhat challenging.

A fun but inessential novelty, as much toy as book. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-30576-0

Page Count: 6

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Sure to prompt little fingers into joyful action.

TICKLE TIME!

A favorite baby-and-toddler activity receives an upbeat celebration that will get those fingers going. Watch out!

The gang of frazzled felines that populate this outing are truly the cat's meow. Based on Boynton's song of the same title, the text is reproduced in a colored, patterned font that amps the energy right up. A forlorn little kitty, paws clasped in front of his body, appears anxious (though slightly intrigued) when a trio of toms encourages him to join in the fun. “Gitchy-gitchy / Goo Gotta / Ready, Set, Go!” It doesn't take long before the cautious cat jumps in on this chorus line with dramatic leaps and fluttering fingers. A little birdie acts as a square-dance caller, enunciating each beat (“Goo bop. / Gitchy-goo bop”). The shaggy, large-nosed felines are tremendously expressive in their synchronized movements and maintain a rollicking pace. “We can tickle high. / We can tickle low. / We can tickle QUICKQUICKQUICK / as fast as we can go!” (Here, the page is filled with iterations of "gitchy gitchy gitchy" in different colors.) At the end, the gang sprawls on the floor, exhausted, after a truly monumental tickle-fest.

Sure to prompt little fingers into joyful action. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7611-6883-6

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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