While Gomi is often visually sophisticated, the results here are uneven, with images that will both delight and baffle.

READ REVIEW

WIGGLE!

Like Hervé Tullet’s The Game of Finger Worms (2011), Gomi’s newest encourages readers to insert a finger through a die-cut hole to animate the characters on the page.

Readers’ digits become a cat’s tail, a rattlesnake’s rattle, a chameleon’s tongue and more in the Japanese illustrator’s recognizably whimsical watercolor cartoons, done in colors both bright and muted. Some of the finger animations work well, like the sea gull wing and the elephant trunk, but others look odd or incomplete, such as the penguin beak and the deer antlers. The text is a simple one-sentence explanation of the animal’s actions: “The crocodile flashes his fang.” The die-cut holes appear on both the left and right sides of the double-page spread, but only one hole is needed to create the animation effect, making the page layout look unfinished. Companion Hide and Seek is another example of Gomi’s visual playfulness. An ever-increasing number of animals and people hide an object or two on their person. On the first double-page spread, two roosters are shown, as the text, with the image of a glove hovering above, reads: “Which rooster hides a glove?” One of the birds has had its comb replaced by the glove. The guessing game continues with three crocodiles, one of which has a toothbrush for teeth, and four raccoons, one of which has a sock instead of a tail. Many of these visual puzzles are delightful, such as birthday candles in place of giraffe horns. Others may be difficult for board-book readers to pick up on, such as a triangular flag in place of a shark’s fin. The final spread shows a group of kids, one of which sports a fork and spoon as hair braids.

While Gomi is often visually sophisticated, the results here are uneven, with images that will both delight and baffle. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0836-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate.

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

From the Les Petit Fairytales series

The flaxen-haired tyke makes her infamous visit to the bears’ house in this simplified adaptation.

The classic story is told with minimal text, one or two words per double-page spread. Goldilocks uses speech bubbles to describe the porridge, chairs and beds (“Too hot. / Too cold. / Just right”). The bears look bemused when they find the girl snoozing in Baby Bear’s bed, and they offer an amicable and winsome goodbye when she dashes off. The richly colored cartoons, likely created with the aid of a computer, present friendly-looking characters with oversize heads. The companion release is a stripped-down version of “Little Red Riding Hood” following the same format and style, right down to the sparkly heroine’s outfit and glittery letters employed on the cover. Youngsters unfamiliar with the story may need adult help to understand that the friendly, cross-dressing wolf has actually swallowed Grandma, since all the readers see is a “Woodsman” examining the wolf’s teeth and then sending the predator away in shame.

Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9912-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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