Cute but cloying.



From the Heart-Felt series

Cute animals are reassured and tucked into bed under lift-the-flap blankets.

Part of the Heart-Felt series, this sugary bedtime tale shows a series of anthropomorphic animals bedding down for the night. The animals are flat and cartoonish, all bright colors and patterns, each outlined with faux hand-stitching, as though they have been quilted onto the page. Each spread shows the head or ears of an animal peeking over the “blanket” flap on recto. Very young toddlers might enjoy using these clues to guess who is underneath, but since the text often immediately announces the answer, that game loses some of its punch. What’s hiding under the flaps isn’t especially scintillating either. On some pages, it’s a mild surprise to find not just one, but several animals snuggled underneath, but most flap turns simply reveal legs. A red felt lift-the-flap “blanket” on the cover is unlikely to rip but isn’t exactly the cuddliest material. Loopy, casually handwritten text sprawls across the versos, with occasional highlighted words composed of decorated multicolored letters. The rhyming text is as saccharine as the illustrations, with multiple “we love you” declarations. Strangely, the last page features an energetic line about parents needing sleep so they can wake up ready to tickle, a choice that counteracts much of the previously gentle language intended to induce sleep.

Cute but cloying. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-545-92799-4

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.


Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.


The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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