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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The small size, a predictable winter adventure, and Boynton’s very toddlerlike character make this a fine stocking stuffer...

MERRY CHRISTMAS, LITTLE POOKIE

Seven years after Little Pookie (2011) first appeared, this popular piglet is finally celebrating Christmas.

“Oh Pookie! Come look! It’s beginning to snow,” says a maternal-looking pig. But where did Pookie go? Past the Christmas tree, to put on a snowsuit of course. Pookie’s ever cheerful mama is willing to go out too. After all, “It’s a magical time to be walking with you.” When she observes, “Our noses are frozen. It’s time to go in,” Pookie protests in typical toddler style: “But I’m not c-c-c-cold!” The next three pages highlight indoor holiday preparations—making paper garlands, baking and decorating cookies. The rhyming text mirrors the spare illustrations. A spidery type that emulates handwriting makes it clear when Pookie is speaking. Then “the doorbell is ringing. / Our family and friends have arrived for the singing.” The second-to-last spread shows Pookie, mama, and six other pigs—and Boynton’s requisite chicken—singing (“Con brio”), “MER-RY CHRIST-MAS! MER-RY CHRIST-MAS! AND A HAP-PY NEW YEAR!” Conveniently, this text is placed beneath the musical notation. Finally Pookie hangs a stocking and goes off to bed without any fuss, anticipating presents on Christmas morning.

The small size, a predictable winter adventure, and Boynton’s very toddlerlike character make this a fine stocking stuffer or an ideal Christmas Eve read to share with other little piggies. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3724-1

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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