BUILD IT UP AND KNOCK IT DOWN

Two little boy figures get together for a play date in a simple, repetitive text that emphasizes opposites. One page reads: “Turn it on and turn it off and turn it on again” and shows the boys pulling the chain on a lamp. The facing page shows their dark silhouettes with text only slightly altered: “Turn it off and turn it on and turn it off again.” The geometric, stick-figure illustrations with two eyes on one side of a face in profile and hair represented by several straight lines sticking up from a head the shape of a marshmallow are reminiscent of the drawings of a four-year-old. The mothers appear only as skirts and black high heels, lending the illustrations a retro feel. It’s short, sweet, simple, and made to appeal to a two-year-old whose greatest joy is to repeat endlessly his favorite activities until it’s time to “Go away and come on back and go away again.” Part of the Harper Growing Tree series that comes complete with “tips for reading and sharing.” (Picture book. 2-3)

Pub Date: May 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-694-01568-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2002

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A terrific resource for fans of Daniel Tiger and newcomers alike.

WHAT TIME IS IT, DANIEL TIGER?

From the Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood series

Animated PBS character Daniel Tiger helps readers tell time.

Mr. Rogers–like (explicitly—the show is produced by the Fred Rogers Co.), Daniel Tiger welcomes his neighbors, inviting them to spend the day with him and learn to use a clock along the way. A large clock face with movable hands is accessible through a large, die-cut circle in the upper-right corner of each double-page spread. The hands click and clack as they’re moved around the clock’s face, and the sound is peculiarly satisfying. Each hand has a different noise, helping children to differentiate between the two. Daniel and his family and friends do lots of things throughout the day, including eating breakfast, going to school, running errands, eating dinner, and going to bed. The illustrations emulate the show’s rounded, calmly colored style. Fans of the television show will be entranced. Daniel’s constant engagement with readers will spawn busy interaction, and the fact that this book covers a whole day makes it an excellent read right before bed.

A terrific resource for fans of Daniel Tiger and newcomers alike. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6934-0

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A goofy story and zippy illustrations make this a nice-enough book but not a must-have.

HELLO KNIGHTS!

From the Hello…! series

In this rhyming board book, knights meet dragons and become friends after an almost-battle between the two is defused by silly undergarments.

Readers first meet the knights as they’re attending the queen and the king, marching, and guarding the castle. When dragons approach ready to fight, the knights halt the hostilities by raising the king’s underwear on a flagpole. Laughter ensues at the silliness, and the knights and dragons become friends when they start a party that readers find under a nifty, crenellated double foldout. Holub’s rhyming couplets are easy to read and have a rhythmic quality that feels almost like a classic epic poem. Dickason’s cartoony, detailed illustrations with comic-book influences will appeal to younger readers. The bold, brightly colored spreads illustrating “Hello dragons!” and “Goodbye dragons” stand out as the clearest and show admirable restraint. Details such as the king’s tattoos are a fun wink to adult readers. Preschoolers will giggle at the king’s undies flying high and will also feel relieved at the peaceful, happy resolution to the book’s climactic clash. While the story is a bit nonsensical—why do the knights decide to fly the underwear on a flagpole?—the overall silliness will appeal to younger readers who won’t mind the plot holes.

A goofy story and zippy illustrations make this a nice-enough book but not a must-have. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1868-4

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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