Puppy’s enthusiasm and waggable tail hold high appeal for little readers.

CHRISTMAS PUPPY

A WAG MY TAIL BOOK

Puppy finds Christmas presents under the tree for all of his friends as he searches to uncover his own.

Yoon gives life to Puppy, complete with a movable, wagging tail. Knowing that he has a gift under the Christmas tree, Puppy searches for his but finds only those for his animal friends. Onomatopoeic text on the bottom right corner of each page (“Squeak! Squeak!”; “Meow! Meow!”) foreshadow which animal’s gift Puppy finds on the next page. He persists with no luck until he hears the classic “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and discovers his gift—a bone. Puppy’s felt-covered tail protrudes over the pages at the top of the book (he hunches down under the tree throughout). It wags with the smooth left-to-right pull of a sturdy tab that is accessible from every page. Because of this, Puppy remains in the same position throughout the book, with his expressions changing to show his growing disappointment. The illustrations are in Yoon’s signature simple style of bold colors with a thick black outline, offering just the right amount of detail. There are labeled gift tags, tiny candy canes on wrapping paper, and spokes on the wheels of the train. While the story itself uses a familiar trope, it will certainly appeal to toddlers with its brisk pace and predictable pattern. The joy of making Puppy’s tail wag excitedly or slowly back and forth is sure to delight any young reader.

Puppy’s enthusiasm and waggable tail hold high appeal for little readers. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4343-3

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Take it, or leave it.

THE ITSY BITSY SNOWMAN

A wintertime story that can be sung to the tune of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

The itsy bitsy snowman and his friends are playing in the snow. They climb up a snowy hill, jump on a sled, slide fast, and zip past children skating on ice. Then, though the text tells readers that he “dodged a snowball fight,” his head becomes separated from his body. Not to worry, “out came his friends / to lend a happy hand.” In the last spread the itsy bitsy snowman stands with his mom, dad, and friends, “And everything was perfect / in his winter wonderland.” The story, intended to be read to the tune of the beloved nursery rhyme, doesn’t always quite fit the template, as in: “The itsy bitsy snowman / climbed up the snowy hill. // He jumped on a sled / and slid fast…what a thrill!” For no obvious reason, on every page one word is printed in a different color from the rest of the text. Rescek’s illustrations are bright, cheery, and cartoonlike, with an appropriate wintry pale blue as the dominant color. Though sweet and cute, there is nothing particularly fresh or new here.

Take it, or leave it. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4837-6

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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As bright and bold as the holiday it celebrates.

HOP! HOP!

An excited little one celebrates Easter.

The Easter Bunny is on its way, and Patricelli’s one-haired tot is thrilled. He prepares for the holiday by painting eggs and making bunny ears. On the big day, he excitedly looks for Easter eggs while his parents watch. The bold, rounded illustrations catch the eye, with a wide range of colors used throughout. The author pays a little lip service toward education by showing primary colors combining to create secondary colors, but the book's main focus is the exuberance that comes with celebrating the holiday, particularly when the traditions are so new and exciting. The enthusiasm is infectious, and read-alouds will most likely lead to little ones’ looking to do some arts and crafts of their very own.

As bright and bold as the holiday it celebrates. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6319-3

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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