This heart-shaped book comes with a star-shaped finger puppet.
There exists a subgenre of children’s books so exceedingly gushy and effusive it seems clear the text was written for starry-eyed adults rather than for the children to whom they read the books. This die-cut, valentine-shaped board book is a case in point. For the most part, it reads like a mawkish love letter from caregiver to child, heaping on the hyperbole to a degree that feels almost unctuous. To be fair, of course, parenthood is one of the few human experiences so profound that those new to the role might find themselves in total agreement with the sentiments somewhat cloyingly expressed herein: “Twinkle, twinkle, little one; / your precious life has just begun. // You fill the world with hope and light, // my special child you shine so bright.” Perhaps it’s best that this book is intended for an audience too young to fully grasp its meaning; that sort of praise could lead to some seriously swelled heads. Fortunately, the highfalutin doggerel is undercut by the emergence of a smiling, yellow, star-shaped finger puppet from a hole in the center of the book; wagging this star at youngsters while reading aloud makes the experience just silly enough to counteract the treacle. The text ends on a down-to-earth note: “Twinkle, twinkle, you’re my star; // I love you just the way you are!” Bright colors and hearts abound.
A bit cringey, but who doesn’t love finger puppets? (Board book. 6 mos.-2)