A simple book with interesting possibilities for repeated reading, especially likely to hold the attention of both babies...

BABY ANIMALS DAY & NIGHT

As she did in Baby Animals Spots & Stripes (2014) and Baby Animals Black & White (1998), Tildes uses detailed black-and-white illustrations to catch infants’ eyes, here highlighting four unusual animals.

At the same time she subtly and wordlessly imparts some pretty sophisticated scientific concepts. Tildes’ illustrations alternate between the diurnal chipmunk and otter and the nocturnal bobcat and skunk. Each animal is shown twice, awake and asleep on opposite pages, with only the black or white background hinting at the time of day when that animal is active. Although each animal is named, the more complex concepts are left for adult reading partners, or perhaps older siblings, to point out or ignore depending on the interest, age, and attention of their babies. This is an age-appropriate choice, but it relies on adults to supply the scientific vocabulary. A toy chipmunk and otter-, bobcat- and skunk-decorated clothing reprise the same animals in the final, full-color pair of images of a charming human baby. The purple-clad child is appropriately androgynous and also ethnically ambiguous, though this curly-haired darling is very pale.

A simple book with interesting possibilities for repeated reading, especially likely to hold the attention of both babies and their preschool-age siblings. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58089-609-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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