A sweetly balanced affirmation of the child’s right to space.

MY VERY OWN SPACE

After finally succeeding in getting some privacy for reading, a little rabbit learns about balancing isolation and socialization.

Although the cinnamon-brown bunny in a red turtleneck sweater is admirably gender-neutral throughout the text, the book cover ascribes it a male pronoun and the name Jack. Regardless, the uncomplicated text and the humorous art combine to create a story appealing to all. The layout consists of pure white, double-page spreads, filled with brightly contrasting rabbits. In the first spread, 21 comical, anthropomorphic rabbits do such things as dance ballet, leap, play musical instruments, and kick a soccer ball. The red-sweatered bunny is trying to read a book, the slyly titled Space Bunny. Large print announces the bunny’s cross plaint over the general mayhem: “SHUSH! I want to look at my book!” Taking matters in paw, the bunny uses a red marker to draw a circle for privacy, eventually leading to two particularly engaging sequences of art: one documenting the physical process of settling in to read a book and one showing the bunny’s imagination taking off with space creatures. A smaller, beige rabbit in a blue dress—possibly the protagonist’s little sibling—crosses the line at a perfect time: the reader is feeling more than ready to leave solitary confinement and rejoin the other rabbits.

A sweetly balanced affirmation of the child’s right to space. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-911171-12-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

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: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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