What this and its companion lack in clarity of concepts, they make up for in character.

ORANGE, TRIANGLE, FOX

An exploration of colors, shapes and animals.

On the left-hand side of the page, against a solid background of the shade in question, a white shape with three words in its interior names the attributes being described: “purple heart bug” or “red square owl.” On the facing pages are Jones’ winsome animal drawings in what looks to be a watercolor wash in a pale shade of the featured hue. Each animal forms the shape that has been named—some more successfully than others. The hedgehog “circle” is actually an oval, and the blue jay’s rectangular form is more than a little forced, but the frog cleverly conforms to the star’s shape, and the turtle makes a convincing semicircle. The companion title, Bunnies Near and Far, also focuses on multiple concepts at once; a warren of rabbits demonstrates opposites and counting up to 10. The bunnies are quite adorably fluffy as they go for a ride in a carrot-shaped car or attempt to play guitar collectively. While the opposites are clearly presented (near/far and up/down), the critters are shown as big, white heaps of fur, thus making them difficult to count. A faint, extra bunny appears on the last spread, bringing the number of rabbits up to 11, even though the rhyming verse instructs readers to count up to 10.

What this and its companion lack in clarity of concepts, they make up for in character. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936669-21-9

Page Count: 14

Publisher: blue manatee press

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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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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