Cheery and affirming.

READ REVIEW

OOPSIE-DO!

A book to read—and sing—about making and then moving past mistakes.

Children’s musician Kubart offers advice akin to that found in the Sesame Street song “Everyone Makes Mistakes So Why Can’t You?” in this, his first picture-book text. Richmond’s bright and cheery multimedia illustrations interpret the text to follow a child through one day at home and school. Minor mishaps (or “oopsies”) punctuate the comings and goings, but the diverse cast around the child (who has brown skin and straight, dark hair) embodies the text’s encouraging tone in illustrations that depict their shows of support. “Oopsies can happen and get in your way, / but that doesn’t mean they should ruin your day,” reads the opening spread as the child arrives at school with parent and baby sibling. From there, the child spills fish food on the floor, among other mistakes, and after each incident, the text repeats the titular refrain, along with an accompanying picture showing the mishap resolved. The child’s roll-with-the-punches attitude, in turn, allows easy accommodation of muddy paw prints tracked through the house and spaghetti tossed by the baby all over a beloved teddy bear. A link to the song on the publisher’s website is promoted on the cover.

Cheery and affirming. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-257303-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies

DINOSAUR DANCE!

It's not the first time dinosaurs have been featured in a clever Boynton board book. It seems she—and we—can't get enough.

As her fans know, Boynton has a sly wit that respects the intelligence of her young fans and amuses the adults asked to “read it again.” In this book she introduces nine dinosaurs, each of which dances in a way that seems totally appropriate for that particular species. “The blue Stegosaurus goes SHIMMY SHIMMY SHAKE. / The red Brontosaurus goes QUIVERY QUAKE.” Drawing on her experience as a children’s musician, she writes a text that trips along like a song with rhymes that make sense but don't intrude. The illustrations, typical Boynton, reflect her greeting-card background. They are cartoonish but manage to capture the unique personality of each creature. The unnamed dinosaur narrator looks genuinely distraught at not being able to name the “tiny little dino” that “goes DEEDLY DEE.” Spoiler alert: the tiny little dinosaur is probably Compsognathus and would be about the size of a small chicken. Young dinophiles would be impressed if the dinosaurologists in their lives could supply that factoid, but alas, they will have to look it up.

This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8099-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A welcome addition to the toddler bookshelf.

LEO CAN SWIM

Leo is back (Leo Loves Baby Time, 2014, etc.), and now he happily attends a community swim class with Daddy.

“Leo loves the water. He is like a little fish!” A smiling Leo is in sudsy bath water, his dark, curly head and brown body held up by a pair of strong, brown, adult arms. As the story continues, readers see Leo and Daddy interact lovingly throughout, from sitting together on a big chair—viewing a swim-class brochure—to changing into proper swim attire in the locker room and taking part in a class that features a pool full of other happy baby-and-adult pairs. The range of skin and hair types is commendable, even including one adult-child combination of nonmatching skin. Getting used to the off-center noses of the babies requires a little time—probably more for adults than children. The text has some sentences that will sound delightful to little ears as little eyes view the water babies: “They swish and swoosh. They splish and sploosh.” The tender and competent care given to Leo by his father is reason enough to praise this book. Also, like its predecessor, the codex itself has rounded corners and strong, resilient paper to accommodate its audience. The ending is a bit abrupt, but it parallels babies’ and toddlers’ tendencies to play hard and suddenly run out of energy.

A welcome addition to the toddler bookshelf. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58089-725-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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