THERE’S A COW IN THE CABBAGE PATCH

Merry mayhem ensues when barnyard inhabitants decide to switch homes for the day. Throughout the farmyard, mischievous animals pop up in unexpected places—an owl in the birdhouse, a rooster in the stable, sheep in the pigsty. A couple of bewildered farmers spend their day chasing after the wayward creatures, woefully lamenting, "What shall we do?" However, when dinnertime approaches, the farmers discover everyone has settled in their proper places once again. Blackstone's rhymes perk along at a sprightly pace; bouncy verses provide readers with information about familiar barn animals, their sounds, and their domestic habitats. "There's a dove in the dairy, coo, coo, coo! He should be in the birdhouse, what shall we do?" Beaton's collages, created out of a mixture of felt, stitchery, beads, and buttons, capture the homespun charm of the country. The double-paged, full-color spreads are intricately detailed; layers of materials lend depth and texture to the pages, creating images that seem to pop off the pages. From tiny pink piglets gleefully scampering about to playful lambs splattering mud, these frisky illustrations have just the right kind of silliness that will appeal to preschool readers. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-84148-333-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2001

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A fun but inessential novelty, as much toy as book.

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE

A familiar song repackaged as a board book doubles as a finger puppet.

Many a caregiver has sung this refrain to a newborn or toddler, ignoring the decidedly sad lyrics of the original. Magsamen lays claim and sweetens it up. She uses only the chorus and changes the last line to “I’ll give you lots of hugs… / and kisses every day” instead of the expected “Please don’t take my sunshine away.” Her cheery artwork, reminiscent of applique, recalls the song’s country-music roots and is anything but sad. The pages are decorated with hearts and cuddly-looking caregiver-child animal pairs—foxes, skunks with sunny yellow umbrellas, bunnies, raccoons, and squirrels. The thick, heart-shaped pages include a circular die-cut hole through which readers might poke the smiling felt sun puppet attached to the back cover. A finger inserted from the back makes the sun wiggle and will capture even the youngest baby’s attention. The puppet feature does not obstruct the initial page turns, but when a toddler says, “Do it again” (as they doubtless will), quickly re-positioning the finger puppet is somewhat challenging.

A fun but inessential novelty, as much toy as book. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-30576-0

Page Count: 6

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Overall, a delightful collection—priced so that it’s easy to buy several to give as gifts.

MY WONDERFUL NURSERY RHYME COLLECTION

Looking for an attractive compendium of nursery rhymes, songs, games, and lullabies all in one place? These 192 pages will deliver the goods, and then some.

The one-page introduction emphasizes the importance of nursery rhymes in the lives of young children: they engage the imagination, develop skills, and foster a love of reading and the spoken word. The contents are organized into six categories that bundle together songs, action rhymes, rhymes about animals, games, counting rhymes, and lullabies. The rhymes are set on full pages or double-page spreads and illustrated with an overall retro look in a mix of styles and media that incorporates thumbprints, collage, cut paper, childlike cartoons, dramatic use of display type, and more. “I’m a Little Teapot” features smiling faces on teapot and cup and a palette of pink, red, and teal, while “Old MacDonald” is rendered in a folk-art style that pops with bright yellows, reds, and greens. Instructions for the action rhymes and the games appear in teeny tiny print at the end of each respective chapter. The die-cut board cover is a plus, as it will stand up to repeated readings. Though each rhyme is illustrated differently, unfortunately and strangely, there is no credit or acknowledgement of the artists. While some of the graphic settings are so overdesigned they are difficult to read, there are so many rhymes that it’s easy enough to skip several and still feel sated.

Overall, a delightful collection—priced so that it’s easy to buy several to give as gifts. (Nursery rhymes. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62686-683-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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