A lesson in the joys of books and the impermanence of things.

MY FIRST TOUCH, FEEL, AND PLAY!

Tactile gimmicks invite handling that this generally sweet book may not withstand.

The thick covers of this interactive board book are quite indestructible, and the pages are sturdy as well, but the many peekaboo flaps—three flaps per double-page scenario—practically beg little hands to tear them from the book. Caregivers, therefore, may want to supervise very young readers whose enthusiasm may outpace their fine-motor skills. Still, there is plenty here to engage and entertain young children. Holes and cutaway patterns encourage children to trace shapes within the pictures. Swatches of fur, spongy rubber, and colorful, metallic fabrics offer several textures to explore. Friendly animals populate five different settings—playroom, park, reading room, beach, and party—featuring many familiar items and new vocabulary words as well. Then there are those flaps. Every baby’s favorite game, peekaboo, becomes a motif as questions asked or implied are answered with a simple flip of a flap. Who’s on stage? Rip away—that is, fold back—the curtain flap. It’s Elephant! Who’s in the box? Tear off—er, lift—the lid to find Bunny Rabbit. What’s squeaking? Yank off—pardon, fold over—the hat-shaped flap. Mouse was underneath it! Kids young enough to damage this book may not recognize the damage. Older children, though, could end up tearful if their favorite peekaboo scene is ruined. Nevertheless, the book demands to be handled.

A lesson in the joys of books and the impermanence of things. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68010-533-9

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for...

HELLO LAMB

This simple board book invites little ones to greet baby farm animals (including frog, bunny, and bee) with their corresponding sounds.

The first double-page spread greets readers with a bright yellow smiling sun and the text “Hello, Sun. / Hello, Day. / Wake up, babies. / Time to play!” Each succeeding spread has a distinct, gently patterned background, with very brief text on the verso (“Hello Puppy! / Woof Woof”). Filling up the recto is a vibrant illustration of the baby animal’s face, wide eyed and smiling, outlined in black. The final spread presents the face of a cute baby with chalky brown-gray skin, bright black eyes, and short black hair: “Goo Goo.” Babies and toddlers will enjoy looking at the baby faces, animals and human, and repeating the sounds. A companion book, Goodnight Bear, has a similar pattern of text and illustrations, though the palette is suitably darker. The moon, surprisingly, has its eyes shut, and succeeding spreads depict an owlet, a baby bat, a baby hedgehog, and other familiar nocturnal baby animals, all wide-awake and smiling. The final spread depicts a cute baby with pale skin, blond hair, and closed eyes.

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for the target audience. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0430-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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