A sumptuous visual delight for all fans of pups and rainbows, with stumbling text.

WAKE UP, COLOR PUP

A dog frolics with colors.

A white dog sleeps in an empty black room. The nubbly texture of the black floor and gray carpet match the nubbly texture of the dog’s poodle-like fur. From the window, yellow light streams onto the black floor, and a barely visible yellow bird—or perhaps an unseen narrative voice—calls, “Wake up, little pup.” The dog emerges outside, and everything’s yellow: landscape, sun, the bird’s swirling flight path. Each spread highlights a new color, in spectrum sequence—yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green—a brief phrase introducing the color (set in all-caps) so they rhyme. Visually, each color makes its way onto the dog’s fur, joining the previous colors there. The colors move along the dog’s fur, staying in spectrum sequence, until barely any white remains. A storm upsets both mood and color, at first dismayingly, but everything will be well. Morley’s cheerful illustrations are both soft and bright, the rainbow hues melding amiably into one another with dotted, nubbly transitions. However, the text is bumpy. While the verbs are playful—“leap, lunge”—the rhyme often takes liberties (“circle. / PURPLE”), and the scansion is sometimes abysmal, requiring incorrect syllable emphases (“Out we go! / YELLOW”) or plunking down a rhyme with no rhythmic path leading to it (“Sniff, wade, splash through. / BLUE”). A few lines do scan and rhyme well across page turns: “Shiver, huddle, stay. / GRAY // Whisper, nudge. Look! PLAY!”

A sumptuous visual delight for all fans of pups and rainbows, with stumbling text. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-55945-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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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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