THE QUILT THAT GAVE A HUG

In Kaldenberg’s debut children’s book, a young child meets a special baby and presents him with a gift that embodies the spirit of the season.
Young Benjamin spends his first night out in the fields with his father, who watches over the family’s flock of sheep. A heavenly light descends upon the shepherds, and from here, the story dovetails with the familiar tale of the birth of Jesus. The shepherds, called to witness the event, seek out the manger in Bethlehem. When Benjamin sees the baby, he decides to give him his own patchwork blanket, which has given him so much comfort and security. He then leans over to tell the newborn about how the quilt “gives a hug.” The book ends with the hope that the love of that special baby will envelop readers, just as wrapping oneself in a quilt feels like an embrace. It’s a fitting analogy that effectively references the holiday’s religious basis without conveying overwrought Christian morals. This inventive take on Christ’s birth deals in the story’s broad strokes, as told from Benjamin’s perspective. After the heavenly hosts fill the fields with light, for example, the book’s straightforward prose shifts: Benjamin tells of his journey to Bethlehem with the muddled, mystified air of an eavesdropper, as he overhears adults discussing angels, a baby and something significant that he can’t quite understand. This hushed confusion, however, gives way to the simple joy of human connection when Benjamin offers his little finger for the baby to grasp. Readers, too, may undergo a similar revelation when Benjamin’s story turns out to be the story of another little boy altogether. Benjamin’s willingness to give his only possession to the baby echoes the biblical lesson about the birth of Christ and God’s gift of love to the world. Illustrator Bonham’s rich watercolors give the boy’s cherubic appearance a sense of innocence and warmth.

A subtle twist on the well-known story of Christmas.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-1500154226

Page Count: 32

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2014

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A friendly celebration of love for the youngest of readers.

YOU'RE MY LITTLE CHICKADEE

A yellow chick is showered with love.

“You’re my little chickadee. / You mean everything in the world to me.” So begins this ode to a caregiver’s love for their little ones, a message emphasized by the “made with love” logo on the cover. The soft, pastel palette and simple, quick pace make this ideal for the smallest readers. The figure of the chick spreads so large across the page that its topknot is actually made of a stuffed, felt orange poof that rests atop the book, held in place by the back cover. Babies still teething will adore nibbling on it. Readers just beginning to learn how to hold books in their tiny hands will find much to enjoy here, but the window for use is a relatively small one. Caregivers with any familiarity with North American birds will be irked at the use of “chickadee” to describe this generic yellow bird, as it looks nothing like an actual chickadee, either juvenile or adult.

A friendly celebration of love for the youngest of readers. (Board book. 6 mos.-1)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-11089-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.

THIS LITTLE BUNNY

Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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