Cuddle up to share these hugs and kisses.

READ REVIEW

I LOVE HUGS AND KISSES

From the Heart-Felt series

This cheerful board book is a sugary paean to love.

A smiling panda with black felt arms and ears on the cover looks ready for a hug. Sadly, that is the only tactile element. Within, rhyming text dances across each page using a typeface designed to look handwritten. Brightly colored parent-and-child animal pairs illustrate each verse, with stitching outlining key features. The lines alternate between “Hug me when…” and “Kiss me when…,” with the critical verb sweetly decorated. Situations described are common experiences for toddlers. A baby bird in a pram is clearly taking a walk, while on the opposite page two ducks “quack and talk.” Unfortunately, rhyming “zoo” with “boo-boo” requires an extra syllable, which throws off the rhyme scheme for that stanza. The final double-page spread shows only one of each animal, each with a heart-shaped “kiss” stitched on its cheek. The text spans both pages, which could confuse readers who have learned to anticipate the story's pattern. That's probably OK, since the rhyme is intact: “Hugs and Kisses everywhere we go— / because I love, love, love you so!” Saying it three times may be a bit much, but most tots enjoy hearing they are loved.

Cuddle up to share these hugs and kisses. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-92796-3

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2016

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

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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