A mostly satisfying addition to the interactive board-book shelf

HUSH

LITTLE BEAR IS SLEEPING

From the Wee Gallery series

Simple, repetitive text, familiar sounds, and developmentally appropriate graphics characterize this simple board book for little ones.

Even the quietest noise—the hoot of an owl, the chirp of a cricket—keeps Baby Bear awake. High-contrast black-and-white drawings placed against mostly black backgrounds should attract the attention of newborns. The subtle change in Baby Bear's quizzical gaze as he eyes the source of each interruption and blue highlights on the other critters, including Mama, help maintain interest for older toddlers. Finding the tiny switch that activates the book’s sound is a bit of a challenge, which could keep young children from driving adults to distraction by repeatedly pressing the buttons located under character-coded tabs at the edges of the pages. The final page, which hides the sound chips and speaker, is quite thick. Older children may be tempted to take it apart to learn what makes the sound, but little ones will just smile at the recognizable sound of a kitty or dog. As with many novelty items, the relatively high price should be weighed against the value of the added sounds. Vroom, Zoom! Here Comes the Fire Truck, published simultaneously, shares the same format, but with louder noises and bright red highlights, it is charming for after nap time.

A mostly satisfying addition to the interactive board-book shelf . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 31, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68297-052-2

Page Count: 8

Publisher: QEB Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside.

EIGHT JOLLY REINDEER

Readers can count down eight of Santa's reindeer as they jump up and out of the scene. 

In each one of the mostly double-page spreads, one reindeer, from Dasher to Blitzen, plays a central role in a winter activity (sledding, ski jumping, ice skating—and soccer and yoga?) that launches the creature into the air. Glitter-speckled tabs, each with small portraits of a member of Santa's herd, appear at either the top or the right side of each page, which little fingers will enjoy flipping. In what looks to be pencil-and-watercolor cartoons, Rogers uses different facial expressions, as well as collars, bows or other accessories, to distinguish the reindeer from one another. Donner (not Donder) and Blitzen are squeezed together on the penultimate spread, likely to keep the page count down. The verse mostly scans, but the rhyme scheme has become the cliché of counting books: "Eight jolly reindeer / stretching up to heaven. / Up goes Dasher / and then there are... // Seven...." Santa, his iconic sleigh and the eight reindeer in flight make a dramatic and required appearance on the book's final double-page spread. 

As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-65145-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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