Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear ($9.95; Jun. 30; 24 pp.; 0-694-01162-2): This Growing Tree entry has an easy, familiar verse, and Scott makes sure that even the youngest toddler will be able to follow the actions of a boy and his teddy bear as they touch, dance, point, jump, bow, run, and prepare for bed. Friendly, rounded characters and bold, solid colors combine with firm lines and shapes to strong and simple effect. Children will chant and gesture along with this uncomplicated bedtime rhyme. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: June 30, 1998

ISBN: 0-694-01162-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1998

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This holiday ditty misses too many beats.


From the Itsy Bitsy series

The traditional story of the first Thanksgiving is set to the tune of “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and stars rodents instead of humans.

The titular itsy-bitsy Pilgrim, a mouse dressed in iconic Puritan garb, sails to “a home that’s new” with three other mice on the Mayflower. They build a house, shovel snow, and greet some “itsy bitsy new friends,” who are chipmunks dressed as Native Americans complete with feathered headbands, beaded necklaces, and leather clothing. While Rescek’s art is droll and lively, it is wildly idealized, and the Native Americans’ clothing does not reflect what is understood of Wampanoag attire. The companion title, The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer, presents equally buoyant scenes. The reindeer and several elves, who appear to be white children with pointed ears, help Santa (also white) prepare for his annual sleigh-ride delivery. In both books, would-be singers may struggle to fit all the words and syllables into the meter, and a couple of rhymes are extremely forced (“shop” and “job”?).

This holiday ditty misses too many beats. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6852-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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An engaging take.



The itsy bitsy spider scales the water spout again.

Little readers all over know about the itsy bitsy spider’s quest to reach the top of the water spout. This board book features sliding panels that let little ones help the spider along its journey. The song’s four verses are spread over four double-page spreads, with the spider finally achieving the top of the water spout against a rainbow backdrop on the final page. The illustrations boast a color palette that leans heavily on purples, blues, yellows, and greens. The spider is a round, smiling critter with a jaunty cap and high-top sneakers on all eight feet (one pair each of red, orange, yellow, and blue). The first page of the board book holds a QR code for caregivers to download a free version of the song. The sliding panels are sturdily built, and the calm nature of the song will aid their durability. While some little ones will instinctively want to sing the song and go through the accompanying hand motions, they will adapt to the interactive manipulations fairly easily, making this especially well suited to car rides.

An engaging take. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9581-1

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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