You just gotta “love, love, love” this joy-filled book

READ REVIEW

I LOVE ME

This Australian import is a 24-page affirmation of self-worth for children everywhere.

Morgan and Kwaymullina, both from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia, use traditional Aboriginal-style art to illustrate the unique attributes that make a child loved and lovable. Vibrant, patterned colors in deep, rich hues frame each page while dots, stripes, stars, and swirling bands of color emphasize the joyous message. Two smiling brown-skinned children, sometimes joined by a black-and-white spotted dog, are haloed in variously colored auras that emphasize their singularity and seem to radiate self-love. The occasional rhymes in the text are unobtrusive but not forced. “Thin” is rhymed with “green,” and “loud” with “proud.” But when a rhyme is not readily available, the rhyme scheme is sensibly abandoned in favor of clarity; there is no attempt to rhyme “I love me! I love my ears. I love my laugh. / I love the way my toes make art.” Onomatopoeic words repeated three times (“tap,” “thump,” etc.) add energy and rhythm. On the next-to-last page, one child with crossed arms looks directly at readers to ask, “Who else would I be?” before returning to the refrain, “And I love, love, love me!”

You just gotta “love, love, love” this joy-filled book . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5248-5116-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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

EIGHT JOLLY REINDEER

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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