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LOOK WHAT I CAN DO

A FIRST CONCEPTS BOOK

From the Guess How Much I Love You series

While this father-and-son relationship is lovely and their habitat delightful, in this case, neither is well-suited to...

Little Nutbrown Hare explores colors, actions, shapes, numbers, sounds and the natural world on seven double-page spreads as his doting father looks on.

Beyond the basic captions typically found in concept books, the text includes father-and-son dialogue that echoes Guess How Much I Love You: “Would you rather be a caterpillar or a frog?” asks Big Nutbrown Hare. “I’d rather be big like you,” the little one replies. Jeram’s lovely, soft watercolors appear to be a mix of illustrations recycled from other books in the popular series and original paintings. As a concept book, it is a mixed bag. The pages focusing on numbers are the most successful, with oversized numbers on the outsides of 10 flaps and pictures of dainty critters, from one bird to 10 ladybugs, to count on the insides. Less effective is the spread demonstrating colors; it utilizes flimsier flaps with blocks of the hue in question on the exteriors and almost-too-subtle-in-color illustrations of vegetation on the interiors. While the pages titled “Actions” effectively show the young hare engaging in a nice variety of movements (including sniffing and blowing), the “Shapes” section only introduces three shapes, and the geometric square looks a little out of place in this English wood.

While this father-and-son relationship is lovely and their habitat delightful, in this case, neither is well-suited to teaching about a more conceptual world. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7064-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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SMILE, POUT-POUT FISH

An upbeat early book on feelings with a simple storyline that little ones will respond to.

This simplified version of Diesen and Hanna’s The Pout-Pout Fish (2008) is appropriate for babies and toddlers.

Brief, rhyming text tells the story of a sullen fish cheered up with a kiss. A little pink sea creature pokes his head out of a hole in the sea bottom to give the gloomy fish some advice: “Smile, Mr. Fish! / You look so down // With your glum-glum face / And your pout-pout frown.” He explains that there’s no reason to be worried, scared, sad or mad and concludes: “How about a smooch? / And a cheer-up wish? // Now you look happy: / What a smile, Mr. Fish!” Simple and sweet, this tale offers the lesson that sometimes, all that’s needed for a turnaround in mood is some cheer and encouragement to change our perspective. The clean, uncluttered illustrations are kept simple, except for the pout-pout fish’s features, which are delightfully expressive. Little ones will easily recognize and likely try to copy the sad, scared and angry looks that cross the fish’s face.

An upbeat early book on feelings with a simple storyline that little ones will respond to. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-374-37084-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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PEEKABOO REX!

From the Boynton on Board series

Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here.

The favorite game of toddlers gets a dino twist.

A large dinosaur tries to outsmart a smaller companion when the duo play peekaboo together. The big dino naïvely believes they won’t be noticed behind or under sundry hiding places, but the little pal always finds their playmate. Young listeners will giggle as the large dino attempts to outwit the little one, but in vain; in every instance, the diminutive, overalls-clad dino calls out a triumphant “Peekaboo!” How come? Is it because thin tree trunks and a potted plant can’t conceal the large dino’s frame? Do the big dino’s bold, flower-print shirts stick out a mile? Even when the large dinosaur attempts an aerial hiding place, they discover that ruse doesn’t, ahem, fly, nor does hiding in a crowd wearing a Where’s Waldo?–esque red-striped cap and T-shirt do any good. In a display of good sportsmanship, the big dino concedes at the end the game was fun. The youngest audiences, all of whom will have likely engaged in marathon peekaboo sessions themselves, will undoubtedly scramble to play again. Besides stimulating playtime, this adorable board book, expressed in lilting rhymes, boosts vocabulary development through the use of some common prepositions (behind, in) and adverbs (here, there, everywhere). The illustrations are sweetly engaging; the round cutout on the front cover invites youngsters to play peekaboo games with adult partners and others. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-66592-840-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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