An age-appropriate choice for modeling prosocial behavior.

A small child learns the joy of sharing.

“Pretend! Fun! Sit here. Take one.” These opening words come from the imperious brown-skinned toddler wearing a striped shirt on the book’s cover as she invites a darker-skinned female tot in a child care center to play. No sooner has the fun begun than the protagonist starts to feel dissatisfied with her farm animal toy. Displaying a toddler-realistic mood swing, she declares “This is mine!” and grabs the other girl’s toy dog. But her possessiveness doesn’t stop there, as she eventually hogs all the barnyard toys to herself (one amusing illustration shows the stripe-shirted youngster trying to stuff everything into a small dump truck) and commands the second girl to “Go away!” She is content playing alone until she notices the dark-skinned girl having fun with a light-skinned, bespectacled boy, feels envious, and must decide what really matters. Seeboruth’s sparse, rhyming text—consisting of punchy, two-word sentences—delivers its message with aplomb. With clearly delineated areas of strong color, Corrin’s expressive, textured digital artwork ably brings the humorous but believable characters to life. Altogether, the book creates a faithful snapshot of toddler interactions that will make caregivers smile knowingly and teaches an important lesson without being preachy.

An age-appropriate choice for modeling prosocial behavior. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64686-299-3

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022


From the Lola & Leo series

A helpful way to prepare toddlers for a visit to the doctor with a character who’s easy to love.

In this episode in the life of toddler Leo, younger brother to Lola (Lola Reads to Leo, 2012, etc.), his parents take him to the doctor’s office for a checkup.

Leo, a brown boy with tightly curled hair, dressed in a onesie and holding onto a table, “is a big boy now.” His mother and father, who are exactly the same shade of brown, are in the background as Leo feeds himself, plays ball, sings, and dances. When it is time to go, he “puts his toys away” and gets “his blankie and Mister Seahorse.” Daddy packs a bag and brings him to the clinic, where Leo sits on the floor playing with Mister Seahorse while they wait for their turn. (This doctor evidently has a separate well-child waiting room, as every soul in the diverse gathering is smiling happily—there’s not a runny nose in sight.) When it is Leo’s turn, he shows his doctor, a white woman, “what he can do now.” He gets a sticker and a book and gets checked all over. He even continues smiling while he gets his shot, which “will keep him healthy.” The rounded features and shining, rosy cheeks of the invariably smiling characters make for a pleasant trip with Leo through his safe and welcoming world.

A helpful way to prepare toddlers for a visit to the doctor with a character who’s easy to love. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58089-891-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018


From the Hello Genius series

Despite the happy ending, a story meant to serve as reassurance to little ones giving up their own pacifiers comes off as...

It’s time for little Duck to give up his beloved pacifier.

Like many tots, “Duck likes his pacifier,” and the first double-page spread shows him sucking on it happily. Mama Duck, though, believes he’s outgrown it: “Only in bed, sleepyhead,” she admonishes, plucking the pacifier from Duck’s beak as he sits down to a meal. On subsequent pages, she repeats this phrase and pulls away the pacifier as surprised, sad-looking Duck sits in his car seat and reads a book. Adult readers will wonder here—why wouldn’t Mama Duck just put away the pacifier instead of repeatedly snatching it from her wee one throughout the day? Then, surprise, Mama Duck announces that Duck doesn’t need his pacifier at all: “Not even in bed, sleepyhead.” Here, a pleased-looking Mama Duck is pictured with the pacifier hanging from a cord around her neck, out of little Duck’s reach. The following double-page spread features Duck wailing in his crib. Turn the page, and readers see that “soon enough, Duck stops crying…and falls asleep” with no pacifier and no comfort from Mama. When morning comes, he proudly announces: “I’m a BIG DUCK now!”

Despite the happy ending, a story meant to serve as reassurance to little ones giving up their own pacifiers comes off as harsh and decidedly unpleasant. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4795-5793-6

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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