Just the ticket for allaying incipient ablutophobia.


Sloppy the tree dragon finally earned his heart’s desire in Sloppy Wants a Hug (2017), but now Dewdrop the fairy has again turned standoffish.

Her reluctance to bestow further hugs is understandable, as Sloppy’s vigorous mucking about in puddles has left him a mess. Her suggestion that he take a bath is initially greeted with horror, as he’s never had one, and anyway there might be sharks or crocodiles in the pond. At Dewdrop’s coaxing, though, and also when he sees a trio of ducklings expressing similar reservations to their mama—“Quack (Sharks!) Quack! (Crocodiles!)”—he does finally screw his courage to the sticking place. Although it’s about a dragon, the book offers much that will be familiar to grotty toddlers: The ducklings look like rubber duckies, and Julian provides the pond with both a drain plug and a floating basket of sponges, brushes, and bottles of bubbly soap. Sloppy himself resembles a flop-eared plush toy with, like his diminutive, light skinned friend, undersized wings. He comes out of the water feeling both brave and “AMAZING!” He gets his hug too, though (you’d think she’d have learned her lesson from last time) in return he lays “a great big gooey lick” on Dewdrop that leaves her hair a slimy tangle and sends her off for a bath of her own.

Just the ticket for allaying incipient ablutophobia. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4306-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Interactive features carry this unicorn board book for toddlers.


From the My Magical Friends series

Unicorns, rainbows, and interactive features come together in this durable board book.

A perky unicorn graces the cover, and the wheel integrated in the cover page can be used to rotate the sparkly, colorful lines on her rainbow mane, tail, and hooves for a pleasant striped effect. “A unicorn skipped out one day, / spreading magic on her way.” The rainbow unicorn wanders through her enchanted land, chasing away the clouds, stopping rain, and fixing torn fairy wings. Text is sparse, just one sentence-cum-couplet on each of the four double-page spreads, offering little substance for toddlers and not fully connecting with the illustrations. Cartoony illustrations are colorful yet simplistic, reminiscent of animated children’s television programming. Wafting clouds of stars represent unicorn magic, with birds, flowers, pale-skinned fairies, butterflies, and other insects scattered throughout. The final double-page spread shows a herd of unicorns of different colors frolicking together. Beyond the wheel on the cover, other interactive mechanisms include smooth pull-out tabs and sturdy sliders, which toddlers may easily enjoy while developing motor skills. The turn-push-pull-slide features of this book are developmentally perfect for the age, and they are the true adventure in this sturdy book. It’s a shame the text and illustrations fail to deliver in terms of edutainment and pale in comparison to the interactive features.

Interactive features carry this unicorn board book for toddlers. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3729-9

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

For the youngest of unicorn fanatics; others may want to look for their magic elsewhere.


A young unicorn frolics with friends and family to the tune and lyric structure of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Predictably, the singable text reads: “Twinkle, Twinkle, unicorn, / sparkle with your magic horn. // Leaping over clouds so high, / like a diamond in the sky.” Each double-page spread shows the titular creature, yellow and with a rainbow mane, tail, and horn, leaping over rainbows, cavorting with bumblebees, and dancing with a pink bunny, among others. As night falls, the unicorn enjoys a story from what are likely parental figures, an older pink unicorn sporting a necklace and a blue unicorn with bow tie (it seems gender stereotypes exist among legendary creatures, too). Waring’s childlike art is a candy-colored explosion, with big-eyed critters, both legendary and real, all with chunky, toddler-esque physiques. While the verse is nothing new (“Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” has arguably been rewritten more than any other children’s song) and there is little substance, it scans and sings relatively easily. Youngsters will be drawn to the sparkly rainbow on the cover.

For the youngest of unicorn fanatics; others may want to look for their magic elsewhere. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3973-3

Page Count: 7

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet