Unfettered, fresh illustrations communicate a child’s bottomless love for a treasured possession.

READ REVIEW

SMALL BUNNY'S BLUE BLANKET

Remember clutching that beloved childhood object to your chest? Closing your eyes to breathe in a smell as familiar as your own skin, readying yourself for the steepest slide or the darkest night?

Small Bunny finds just this kind of comfort in his blue blanket, soft with wear and dirt, but he worries some of its threadbare magic will wash away when mother does laundry. Appealingly elemental line drawings aptly describe a straightforward story about a child’s simple love of a singularly special possession. Hints of pink highlight Small Bunny’s ears and cotton tail, sweetening and softening the nearly colorless pictures of the boxy-bodied rabbit with dot eyes. Faint blue watercolors accent specifics in his surroundings (an apron, a swing seat, water in the tub) and orient readers to the tiniest corners of his world. Small Bunny’s blanket, appropriately, anchors every page. Trailing behind him on the swing or tucked under his bottom in front of the easel, it’s the only swath of color, assuming new shapes and undulating with watery blues and rippling collage work. Feeney’s winsome illustrations benefit from ample white space, which somehow endows each scene with earnest, emotional weight. Her words, succinct and spot-on, appear in well-spaced lettering (irregularly colored blue by hand) and float on the wide white backdrop.

Unfettered, fresh illustrations communicate a child’s bottomless love for a treasured possession. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 12, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-87087-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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