A colorful and cute celebration of the winter holiday.

READ REVIEW

GINGERBREAD FAMILY

A gingerbread family celebrates Christmas.

“In a gingerbread house, / lives a gingerbread man.” This gingerbread man has a whole family: a wife who loves baking, a daughter who “sleds / through buttercream snow,” a baby playing with gingerbread toys, and even a dog with a gumdrop nose. The family is enjoying generic winter activities; there’s no explicit mention of Christmas in the text, though the gingerbread house has a wreath over the door and a Christmas tree inside. Little readers will enjoy the candy-colored, rounded illustrations and the book’s complementarily rounded contours. Companion title Christmas Elves explicitly focuses on Santa’s (ethnically diverse) elves preparing for the big day. (Santa himself is white.) Both books are narrated with abcb rhyming schemes emphasizing the pleasures of the season. Little readers excited for Christmas will certainly enjoy, and parents will appreciate the swift read that doesn’t overstay its welcome.

A colorful and cute celebration of the winter holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0364-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Pretty but ephemeral.

I LOVE YOU LITTLE ONE

This board-book entry in the competitive-loving genre features silhouettes of animal parent-child pairs against variously colored nighttime scenes.

Each spread begins with the same question, presumably voiced by the child: “How much do you love me?” The parent’s response reaches for lyricism, not always successfully, and always includes a comparative statement. “I love you more than the moon’s glowing light,” says the parent rabbit in the first spread, while the elephant parent avows, “I love you more than all the stars at night,” in the second, establishing the rhyming pattern. Other animals include whales, monkeys, penguins, owls, wolves, and cats; each animal in the pair is labeled with the generic for the adult and the specialized term for that animal’s young for the child. Patane’s scenes are striking enough, the black animals and foreground settings making for striking contrast with the scenery in the background. Lloyd’s verse scans fine, but it can seem desperate, as when the owl responds, “I love you more than the fluffiest feathers,” in order to rhyme with the penguin’s “I love you more than snowy weather.” The book is weighted down by its final page, which holds a battery that allows readers to illuminate the moon on the cover with tiny LED bulbs when an icon is pressed. Despite this gimmick, this book feels little different from many of its peers.

Pretty but ephemeral. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4654-8016-3

Page Count: 18

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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