A raucous if slightly opaque addition to storytime.

BOO! SCARED YOU!

This board book introduces an odd mix of caution and mayhem.

The cover proclaims “10 BIG and SCARY FLAPS,” but there are actually 11, counting the half-page cover, which hides a witch chasing a wolf, who is scaring a ghost. On the final spread the wolf returns to be scared by a “Boo!” from young readers. In large font, the text invites children to tickle an ogre, knock a witch off her broom, startle an ostrich, etc. Predicting each cartoon creature’s response is part of the fun. Will they be happy when the flap is opened? Usually they are scared, not scary. Some adults may balk at suggestions like “Stick your tongue out at the dragon” or “the lion is sleeping. Now’s a good time to poke him.” In both cases the behavior elicits an angry reception, so youngsters may understand that this was not particularly good advice to follow. The interaction with a seemingly friendly crab is less clear. When that flap is lifted, the crab threatens to pinch. Is the lesson to not trust strangers? Or just to avoid crabs? The reactions are clear in the bright, uncluttered illustrations behind large, easily manipulated flaps. However, the black type is difficult to read when set on the occasional dark, low-contrast background.

A raucous if slightly opaque addition to storytime. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40801-281-6

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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Not a great choice for the youngest dinosaur lovers.

I LOVE YOU MORE, BABYSAUR

From the Punderland series

A board-book ode to parental love as old as the dinosaurs.

A line of text on the left of each spread reads like a dinosaur-themed valentine that a third grader might choose, with punishingly punny wordplay that incorporates dinosaur-related words. On the facing page a dinosaur pair—a baby and an adult—gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes against whimsical, pastel-hued prehistoric-ish backgrounds. In smaller print, in all caps, at the bottom of the left page is the scientific name for the dinosaur referenced by the text and picture followed by a helpful phonetic pronunciation guide. White-outlined footprints appear next to their names, though the white is sometimes difficult to see against the pastel pages. Ten of the best-known dinosaurs are included. Twisting the dinosaur names to fit the loving sentiments succeeds some of the time but more often results in tortured text, well beyond the understanding of the board book audience. The line accompanying two hugging velociraptors, for instance, is just confusing: “Wrap-TOR arms around me, / with you I’ll always stay.” Others are just plain clumsy: “I-wanna-GUANODON you kisses, / I truly just adore you.” Very young children, even those fascinated by dinosaurs, will not get it. Older dinosaur fans will be put off by the babyish format.

Not a great choice for the youngest dinosaur lovers. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2295-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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Sweet—but more for adults than children.

ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD

A doting pair of adult bears follows a baby bear through a busy day.

These fully engaged caregivers are clearly awed by the little cub, starting with “You’re the morning sunshine” and ending with “you sleep so peacefully / beneath the twinkling stars.” In between, the baby bear paints a picture, sings with one adult, tickles with the other, drinks cocoa, takes a walk and flies a kite, rides a bike, and is playfully swung in the air before a bath. Much of the action is communicated only by the pictures. The tender rhyming verses focus on the wonder of familial love. Every other stanza ends with the refrain: “This world of ours is full of love / when you are here with me.” Curiously, although this cub has two present, caregiving adults, the narrative, presumably addressed to the child, uses the first-person singular. The baby bear is presented as gender-neutral, first in orange-and-green polka-dot pajamas and then in blue jeans with a white shirt graced with yellow ducks. Although neither adult bear is gendered in the text, the illustrations use stereotypical cues: One wears a yellow dress decorated with hearts; the other wears a striped shirt (and no trousers). No one can miss that the baby bear is the adults’ little darling.

Sweet—but more for adults than children. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-603-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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