For animal-loving toddlers learning to count at Christmas

READ REVIEW

THE 12 PETS OF CHRISTMAS

From the Celebrate the Season series

No partridges, no pear trees—just cute pets in Santa hats in this board-book adaptation of the traditional carol.

The animals, one set per spread, are photographed against white backgrounds. Against a red background opposite or above, the words in gold mostly follow the expected format. “On the first day of Christmas, / Santa gave to me / A SLEEPY LITTLE PUPPY.” From “2 FLUFFY CATS” on up, the formula is set, varying only in the large white numeral, the adjective, and the name of the animal. This arrangement makes it easy to use the book as a simple counting activity. The vocabulary is sometimes challenging, with “3 SQUIRMY HAMSTERS,” “6 KITTENS SNUGGLING,” “7 PUGS A-PLAYING,” and “8 HEDGEHOGS HIDING.” Counting the critters is fairly straightforward (none are hiding). Weary caregivers may be thankful the designers skipped the cumulative recitation that normally followers each stanza. Toddlers wouldn’t sit still for it, especially since they are unlikely to know the original song. The final page is the only place the backward countdown appears. Somewhat confusingly, the “sleepy little puppy” shown there is the pup on the cover and not the original “sleepy little puppy.”

For animal-loving toddlers learning to count at Christmas . (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-42082-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: LB Kids/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 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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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.

THIS LITTLE BUNNY

Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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