Expect plenty of “HA-HA!”s in the home.


Endearingly goofy illustrations and interactive surprises should guarantee giggles for toddlers and caregivers alike.

This book involves young readers in several ways: with invitations to children to make funny faces and stick out their tongues, scratch, tap, or blow kisses, and with flaps that lift to reveal surprise pictures and punchlines (some funny, some eh), each preceded by a bold and hearty “HA-HA!” Whether or not caregivers find any particular setup and denouement uproarious, there’s more than enough going on here to maintain their toddlers’ infectious enthusiasm and laughter, making this a fun shared read. The illustrations are simple, uncluttered, bright, and colorful, depicting a variety of silly and expressive animal characters. The “HA-HA!” format means the jokes are on readers, who presumably encounter the unexpected (and mostly comical) beneath each flap. More-cynical readers might wonder if this book, though good-natured in intent, is the kindergarten version of “Teasing 101.” It’s hard for adults not to hear “HA-HA! Made you look!” and a number of other “HA-HA!” taunts in their heads while reading aloud. Of course, preparing children for the inevitable is perhaps not a bad thing; it could even prompt a conversation about knowing when kidding or teasing is lighthearted and funny and when it’s not.

Expect plenty of “HA-HA!”s in the home. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40800-795-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.


This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate.


From the Les Petit Fairytales series

The flaxen-haired tyke makes her infamous visit to the bears’ house in this simplified adaptation.

The classic story is told with minimal text, one or two words per double-page spread. Goldilocks uses speech bubbles to describe the porridge, chairs and beds (“Too hot. / Too cold. / Just right”). The bears look bemused when they find the girl snoozing in Baby Bear’s bed, and they offer an amicable and winsome goodbye when she dashes off. The richly colored cartoons, likely created with the aid of a computer, present friendly-looking characters with oversize heads. The companion release is a stripped-down version of “Little Red Riding Hood” following the same format and style, right down to the sparkly heroine’s outfit and glittery letters employed on the cover. Youngsters unfamiliar with the story may need adult help to understand that the friendly, cross-dressing wolf has actually swallowed Grandma, since all the readers see is a “Woodsman” examining the wolf’s teeth and then sending the predator away in shame.

Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9912-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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