This is one breakfast to skip.

READ REVIEW

TOAST TO FAMILY

From the Toast to Baby series

The faces of a white-bread family—literally—are created on slices of toast with condiment features.

Every member is introduced, one face per page, including pets, grandparents and cousins. Dad Toast has a large pat of butter for a nose, and squiggles of what looks to be apple butter make the mouth, eyes and eyebrows. The image of Brother Toast uses large panels of American cheese and squirts of red jelly to make a baseball hat, two beady eyes and a food-stained mouth. Bold text written in a brown type labels each family member and describes the characteristics of some (“Grandpa Toast, a bald head”). The family cat and dog meow and woof, and Grandma Toast utters the sole line of dialogue: “‘Hi, Honey!’” All of these images were made using kiln-formed glass. The back-cover blurb states that artists Gross and Busch make it their mission to introduce “young children to the wonderful properties of glass.” As talented as they are, why they chose to make a toast family is baffling. Few of the toast faces look appetizing, with cheese, jam, honey and a white substance (cream cheese?) all on one slice of bread. Many of the faces will be too abstract for young children—Teen Toast apparently has no eyes, Aunt Maude’s are odd splotches, and the honey-made mouth of one of the Toasty Twin Cousins is hard to discern.

This is one breakfast to skip. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936669-18-9

Page Count: 14

Publisher: blue manatee press

Review Posted Online: April 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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As warm as a hug from Grandma.

I LOVE YOU, GRANDMA

Grandma is the star in dozens of picture books for older children, but seldom is the special bond between a toddler and their grandmother portrayed in a book for very young children.

This sweet, but not saccharine, board book fills that gap. Thankfully, this grandma does not have Alzheimer’s and is not dying. She simply delights in spending time with her cherished grandchild. The narrator, a charming bear cub, is not identified as male or female, which makes it easy for both girls and boys to insert themselves in the story. Each of the six rhyming couplets is spread across double-page spreads: “I love the fun we have each day, / And all the funny things you say.” Even in its small board-book trim size, there is still plenty of room for the winsome watercolors to highlight the familiar yet memorable rituals of a day spent with a loving and patient grandma. Note: “Rory Tyger” is the collective pseudonym for the British artistic team of Richard Greaves, Tracey Simmons, and Gabrielle Murphy. Their illustrations were originally used in Good Night, Sleep Tight by Claire Freedman (2003). In that story, the little bear is resisting bedtime. This reworking is a gentle and conflict-free ode to the special love between little bear and a doting grandma.

As warm as a hug from Grandma. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68010-524-7

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of...

BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU

A mother’s observations of her new baby lead to a series of sweet comparisons to various animals.

“When I met you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. / I held you close so you were warm.” Teen author Marr (Made for You, 2014, etc.) uses playful yet comforting language in her picture-book debut. The baby’s squirming kicks remind her of a “lost kangaroo”; a lifting of the child’s head makes her think of a “curious lizard”; and the little one’s howl seems like that of a “lonely wolf.” Each of the child’s behaviors leads to a tender action taken by the mother: tucking the baby in, offering milk, and giving a bath. Each time a new creature is introduced, White gently changes the dominant color in the muted pastel palette of her watercolor and gouache illustrations. That hue is also reflected in the hand-lettered text, giving the overall design of the book a vintage feel. When the baby smiles, the mother knows “You are not a bunny-roo-lizard-wolf-kitten-piggy. You are my baby.” The final page shows the curled-up infant asleep in a pile of blankets.

A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of their families. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-16742-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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