Preschoolers will giggle, and many a tired caregiver will secretly rejoice in knowing that other families also struggle with...

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WHEN YOUR MONKEYS WON'T GO TO BED

From the When Your… series

A clever child uses sneaky tactics to lull two energetic monkeys to sleep.

Charged with getting her recalcitrant monkeys off to dreamland, a resourceful young girl concocts a series of games (go upstairs “without touching the floor!”), tactics (pretend to yawn so the monkeys will too), and projects (build a cozy tent in order to entice them into slumber) to accomplish the nightly ritual of bath, teeth brushing, stories, and bed. Although the girl eventually prevails, it’s not before she too conks out on the bedroom floor with the monkeys, an ending that drifts off a tad too placidly after such a lively beginning. Kids will enjoy the wry second-person narration and animated scenes of monkeys swinging from chandeliers and having feathery pillow fights, but it’s the grown-ups who have woken, sore and disoriented in floor tents of their own, who might have the most rueful of smiles. The predominantly white background sets off the thick-lined cartoon illustrations and draws attention to the brown and tan monkeys and the white girl’s gingery hair. Clever visual gimmicks—cameos from other animals from the When Your… series, books with such titles as The Count of Monkey Cristo—all add to the general sense of silliness.

Preschoolers will giggle, and many a tired caregiver will secretly rejoice in knowing that other families also struggle with bedtime-averse monkeys . (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0565-3

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride.

IT'S RAMADAN, CURIOUS GEORGE

For one special month, George accompanies a young friend through fasts, feasts, and good works at the mosque.

Such headers as “Waiting for Sunset” and “Sharing with Others,” along with glimpses of stars and crescents in the background and a “Ramadan Mubarak” banner, offer oblique references to some basic themes and symbols, but Ramadan’s purpose, many of its practices, and even the word “Muslim” go unmentioned in this tabbed board book. Khan’s rhyme lumbers along (“George can’t wait for tomorrow, / When the month of Ramadan will start. / It’s a special time of year for his friends, / And George is going to take part!”). Meanwhile, Young plugs George and the Man in the Yellow Hat into scenes with Kareem, his father, and his hijab-wearing mother. (Kareem and his dad appear to be black; his mother is lighter-skinned.) They make cookies, gather with friends at sunset to break their daily fast and pray (offstage), then enjoy “Kabobs, curry, veggies, and rice” with chocolate-dipped bananas for dessert. At the mosque, George helps Kareem make food baskets and tries to pass out the racked shoes until an imam gently stops him. Finally, beneath a thin crescent moon at month’s end, George gets a new vest (and the Man a yellow fez) for the celebration of Eid.

A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-65226-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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