The offering would have been better served in a larger picture-book edition with more pages to allow the delightful...

READ REVIEW

BUNNY AND BEE PLAYTIME

Two toddlers, one costumed as a bunny and another like a bee, are the best of friends.

The duo lives in a tidy treehouse, enjoys milk and honey, and plays together in all sorts of weather. Doling out one line per page, the gentle rhyming text states: “On sunny days, they swing in the trees. / On windy days they chase the leaves. // On rainy days they splash in the puddles. / On cold, cold days they have lots of cuddles.” While nothing much happens in this slice-of-life tale, toddlers will delight in the world Williams has built for the twosome. Bee wears a striped outfit with wings and antennae, and Bunny is clad in a rusty brown ensemble that sports rabbit ears. While there is never a parent in sight, the cozy pencil-and-watercolor cartoons in autumnal tones will make readers feel that Bunny and Bee are perfectly safe. Some of the double-page spreads that use a series of spot-art vignettes are difficult to make out due to the tiny size of the images. The pacing also feels rushed at times, particularly as Bunny and Bee are engaged in very active play on one page and then rushed off to bed on the next.

The offering would have been better served in a larger picture-book edition with more pages to allow the delightful illustrations and the simple story room to breathe. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-907967-63-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Boxer Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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