BRING ON THE BIRDS

Over rhyming captions that only occasionally exceed three or four words, Stockdale presents painted portraits of 21 wild birds. Portrayed in a flat graphic style and, mostly, in frozen motion against simplified natural settings, each—from great horned owl and blue-footed booby to Adelie penguin, ostrich and broad-tailed hummingbird—is large and easily visible on the page, rendered with clear hues and sharp color borders likely to draw and hold the attention even of unfledged young viewers. The images are often mesmerizing in their abstraction, inviting readers to pause and admire. A flock of red-billed oxpeckers is arrayed on a slope that readers may take a few beats to recognize as the neck of a giraffe; the white-tailed ptarmigans look at first like just a few snowdrifts. The author links her gallery together with the concluding note that “Dull or dazzling colors, / long or little legs. / All of them have feathers, / and all are hatched from eggs,” then identifies each bird in a closing key with one or two sentences of descriptive commentary. Broader in geographical range and even simpler in design, this makes a natural follow-up to Lois Ehlert’s Feathers for Lunch (1990) as a primary introduction to our avian cousins. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56145-560-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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