Not an essential purchase, but this playful romp from one to 10 with a whale, lions, blue bears, pink elephants, crocodiles,...

ANIMAL NUMBERS

Rhyming text and cartoony creatures careen across the sturdy pages of this board book.

A numeral placed on one of the corners of each two-page display accompanies a rhyming couplet that identifies the animal pictured and some detail of its habitat or behavior. Of course, none of these animals or the environments they are shown in look like anything in nature, but young children won't have any trouble recognizing them. The iconic images clearly communicate each critter’s essential features. The rhymes trip nicely off the tongue, too. “In the forest, three bears scurry. / Why are they in such a hurry?” (However, shared spelling doesn't make “one” rhyme with “gone.”) In each verse the number is spelled out and enlarged to stand out prominently, as are most of the ending rhymes. Other words, mostly verbs, are also printed larger—perhaps to encourage adult readers to emphasize the action. The final spread mixes up all the animals, one whale through 10 monkeys.

Not an essential purchase, but this playful romp from one to 10 with a whale, lions, blue bears, pink elephants, crocodiles, pandas, foxes, penguins, parrots, and monkeys keeps the learning light. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 7, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6937-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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