Families with different-aged siblings will find much to relate to and discuss in this light but observant rendering of an...

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SHH! MY BROTHER'S NAPPING

A playfully oblique exposition of the perils and pitfalls of sibling rivalry.

A mouse, very like a 3- or 4-year-old child, is instructed by Mommy to keep quiet and not disturb baby brother mouse as he naps in his stroller. The narrator’s passive-aggressive solution to this situation is to engage in “quiet” activities that “accidentally” involve disturbing his little sibling’s rest. Mommy’s injunction, repeated frequently—“Shh! Your brother’s napping”—accompanies all the ways the older sib disrupts the baby. These include putting pan lids on his head, preparing to hit them drum-style with kitchen utensils; a well-aimed book, thrown because, he says, “there’s a scary part that makes me run.” Even the temptation to paint brother’s sleeping face is too great. So he goes for building with blocks, which is a fine quiet activity until—“Ooops!” everything tumbles down. Baby brother is now wide-awake. Thoroughly exhausted from the effort of disturbing the baby’s nap, older brother yawns and falls asleep, provoking the inevitable punch line from baby: “Shh! My brother’s napping.” Ohi’s playful, cartoonish watercolor illustrations in pastel colors beautifully illustrate the humorous, understated text while making the joke completely apparent.

Families with different-aged siblings will find much to relate to and discuss in this light but observant rendering of an age-old power struggle. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61067-552-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate.

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

From the Les Petit Fairytales series

The flaxen-haired tyke makes her infamous visit to the bears’ house in this simplified adaptation.

The classic story is told with minimal text, one or two words per double-page spread. Goldilocks uses speech bubbles to describe the porridge, chairs and beds (“Too hot. / Too cold. / Just right”). The bears look bemused when they find the girl snoozing in Baby Bear’s bed, and they offer an amicable and winsome goodbye when she dashes off. The richly colored cartoons, likely created with the aid of a computer, present friendly-looking characters with oversize heads. The companion release is a stripped-down version of “Little Red Riding Hood” following the same format and style, right down to the sparkly heroine’s outfit and glittery letters employed on the cover. Youngsters unfamiliar with the story may need adult help to understand that the friendly, cross-dressing wolf has actually swallowed Grandma, since all the readers see is a “Woodsman” examining the wolf’s teeth and then sending the predator away in shame.

Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9912-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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