Move over, Spot, there’s a new Cat in town.


From the Cat's Adventures series

Cat skateboards past animals in this board book that showcases rhymes.

Purcell’s Cat, from Cat Goes Fast (2020) and other titles, is back on wheels again. As Cat zips by via skateboard, other animals also whiz along, each with its own descriptive rhyme. There’s a goose “on the loose,” a duck “in a truck,” and a bear “in the air,” for example. The formulaic setup line “Look out, Cat!” is always followed by the approaching animal’s rhyme and appropriate onomatopoeia. It’s this familiar cadence that helps little readers begin to predict what will come next, the oinks or beeps often appearing before a page turn, inviting prediction and participation. It all proceeds per formula until the giggle-producing bait and switch as Rat appears without a rhyme but carrying ice cream cones to share with Cat. As with the other Cat books, the illustrations are simple, with bold blue backgrounds and a bit of grass across the bottom of each page. It serves to emphasize Cat’s movement around the page, making subtle changes more pronounced, encouraging readers to notice them. The only disappointment in the illustrations is the fly that looks confusingly like a gray bee. As a bonus, the book does not include any gendered pronouns. Purcell’s careful use of language and simple, thoughtful illustration are the strengths of this series.

Move over, Spot, there’s a new Cat in town. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-80036-008-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiny Seed

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.


From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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From the Llama Llama series

In this board book designed for the littlest llama lovers, adorable-as-ever Llama Llama (Llama Llama Red Pajama, 2005, etc.) gets ready for some Halloween fun.

Dewdney’s characteristic spare, apt rhymes convey a lot of action in effortlessly readable fashion. A charming and simple introduction to Halloween and its associated activities, this title finds little Llama Llama choosing and carving a pumpkin, pouring candy into bowls, picking out a costume and, finally, trick-or-treating. The costume Llama Llama decides to don—pointy teeth and a black mask and cape—is enough to frighten and fool his friends but not readers, who will immediately recognize and smile at the silly little mini-Dracula. With Dewdney’s characters as expressive as ever, young readers will be drawn right into the holiday fun, eagerly anticipating which costume Llama Llama will choose and excited to see him scare his friends and score some candy at trick-or-treat. In the equally appealing companion title, Llama Llama Jingle Bells,the little fellow gets ready for Christmas, baking and decorating some cookies in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. This simple holiday title will win Llama Llama new fans, and old friends will want to add it and its companion to their collections. (Board book. 1-2)


Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-0451469786

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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