Although the book’s production quality leaves something to be desired, toddlers will adore helping out their new animal...



A collection of needy pets “all feel better” with a little help from their child reader friends.

It’s a rough day to be a pet! There’s an animal in mild crisis on each double-page spread. Poor kitty’s yarn is a total mess. But never fear! Youngsters are told exactly how to touch the page (“swirl the yarn to wind it”), and with a gratifying lift of the flap, the kitten is now snuggling a “nice and neat” ball of wool. A direct address from the pet praising readers for the assistance that “saved the day!” taps perfectly into a toddler’s deep desire to help. Among the instructions are a wide variety of ways to interact with pages, and while some, such as “open,” and “push,” will be familiar, others such as “pat” and “pinch” may build vocabulary. (These activities are mostly imaginary, as the physical interactions are confined to lifting flaps.) With their sketchily drawn bodies, the cartoonlike pets aren’t the cutest critters on the block, but it’s a genuine pleasure to watch pleading eyes and drooping bodies transform into perky, effervescent animals. If the concept is a sweet surprise, the book itself is not. The dots of its halftone printing are distractingly apparent, and several of the curved, not-particularly-substantial flaps catch and crease. Additionally, flaps and backgrounds share the same deeply saturated colors, making the flaps’ edges frustratingly difficult to find.

Although the book’s production quality leaves something to be desired, toddlers will adore helping out their new animal buddies. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0939-2

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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A swell read for the lighthearted. (Board book. 1-3)


The bunnies that inhabit Boynton’s colorful world put on a musical show for the other animals.

The rabbits have taken over the theater. They dance and sing, bragging about their long ears and twitchy noses for the pigs and chickens in the audience. The rhythmic chorus—“We are ten terrific rabbits and we like to dance and sing. / Ten terrific rabbits. We can do almost anything”—is mighty infectious. The author’s trademark wit and humor are on full display as the other animals dress up like bunnies and join the massive grand finale. The barnyard cast forms a musical troupe that amuses and delights. Adults will appreciate the clever sight gags, and small children will appreciate the tasteful boasting and empowering jingle. While it’s not as complete a vehicle for inculcating emergent language skills as many of Boynton’s other books, there’s no denying it’s got verve.

A swell read for the lighthearted. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7611-8060-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2014

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Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here.


From the Boynton on Board series

The favorite game of toddlers gets a dino twist.

A large dinosaur tries to outsmart a smaller companion when the duo play peekaboo together. The big dino naïvely believes they won’t be noticed behind or under sundry hiding places, but the little pal always finds their playmate. Young listeners will giggle as the large dino attempts to outwit the little one, but in vain; in every instance, the diminutive, overalls-clad dino calls out a triumphant “Peekaboo!” How come? Is it because thin tree trunks and a potted plant can’t conceal the large dino’s frame? Do the big dino’s bold, flower-print shirts stick out a mile? Even when the large dinosaur attempts an aerial hiding place, they discover that ruse doesn’t, ahem, fly, nor does hiding in a crowd wearing a Where’s Waldo?–esque red-striped cap and T-shirt do any good. In a display of good sportsmanship, the big dino concedes at the end the game was fun. The youngest audiences, all of whom will have likely engaged in marathon peekaboo sessions themselves, will undoubtedly scramble to play again. Besides stimulating playtime, this adorable board book, expressed in lilting rhymes, boosts vocabulary development through the use of some common prepositions (behind, in) and adverbs (here, there, everywhere). The illustrations are sweetly engaging; the round cutout on the front cover invites youngsters to play peekaboo games with adult partners and others. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-66592-840-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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