Toddlers might “jump” for joy over this bouncy board book and its companions.



Frolic along with a little boy and his newly hatched chick friend as they demonstrate the titular actions and many more.

The book pops with clearly demonstrated action words. “Leap” sends boy and bird soaring upward, while the little chicky performs a cute tail “wiggle.” It’s all so inviting that children might find themselves wanting to “dance” or “stomp” right along. Sato scaffolds a simple visual narrative onto the words, beginning with the chick’s hatching, moving on to playtime, a tiff, and then forgiveness, and ending with bedtime and a peaceful “snooze.” For little listeners, it’s the perfect amount of plot and intrigue. A high-contrast palette of black, white, baby blue, and gold on brilliant Day-Glo blue background makes the duo burst off the page, and the lack of scenery keeps the spotlight on the buddies’ antics. Negative space defines the characters, who are created from simple but evocative rounded shapes (the chick resembles a curvy sweet potato). Expressive curved-line smiles, comically askew feet, triangle beak, and eye-catching motion lines make the vignettes feel exuberantly animated. Adding to its overall appeal, this is one durable book, with robustly textured pages that feel water-resistant and a sturdy binding. It’s part of a board-book trio, each with its own signature Day-Glo color and friendly animal foil. Happy Grumpy Loved explores feelings, while Hide Seek Stinky Sweet covers opposites.

Toddlers might “jump” for joy over this bouncy board book and its companions. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-946873-09-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.


Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside.


Readers can count down eight of Santa's reindeer as they jump up and out of the scene. 

In each one of the mostly double-page spreads, one reindeer, from Dasher to Blitzen, plays a central role in a winter activity (sledding, ski jumping, ice skating—and soccer and yoga?) that launches the creature into the air. Glitter-speckled tabs, each with small portraits of a member of Santa's herd, appear at either the top or the right side of each page, which little fingers will enjoy flipping. In what looks to be pencil-and-watercolor cartoons, Rogers uses different facial expressions, as well as collars, bows or other accessories, to distinguish the reindeer from one another. Donner (not Donder) and Blitzen are squeezed together on the penultimate spread, likely to keep the page count down. The verse mostly scans, but the rhyme scheme has become the cliché of counting books: "Eight jolly reindeer / stretching up to heaven. / Up goes Dasher / and then there are... // Seven...." Santa, his iconic sleigh and the eight reindeer in flight make a dramatic and required appearance on the book's final double-page spread. 

As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-65145-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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