A wintertime version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Picture book. 1-4)

WINTER, WINTER, COLD AND SNOW

In Palermo’s picture-book debut, various animals against snowy backdrops tell readers whom else they know and how those animals go about surviving the winter.

“Winter, winter, cold and snow; / Chickadee Chickadee, who do you know? / I know bear asleep in her den, / she might wake up when the sun shines in.” Bear introduces children to Beaver, whose lodge entrance is under the ice; Beaver in turn tells about Deer, who tries to be quiet while eating twigs. Then come camouflaged Rabbit; Wolf, listening for the sounds of a mouse under the snow; Owl, who is nocturnal; and Woodchuck, who ends the tale, as he is hibernating and won’t tell whom he knows. Palermo’s rhythm and rhyme sometimes stumble, and the repeated question “who do you know” is the grammatical equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard for many. Song’s illustrations appear to be a combination of mixed media and cut-paper collage, the papers wonderfully textured and patterned. Her child-friendly animals are more cartoonish than realistic, but that may be appropriate in a book that substitutes good words for scientific terms: “munching,” “stealthy,” “sleek,” “soars” but not “nocturnal” or “hibernating.” Backmatter not seen.

A wintertime version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58536-953-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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