A clever concept is marred by a hasty, ill-considered ending.

HOORAY FOR LITTLE FINGERS!

In this concept book introducing the numbers one to 10, little fingers are invited to participate in the counting.

Five round die cuts on the cover—just the size for a handful of fingers to poke through—set the tone in this French import. Young readers are encouraged to place a finger through a hole on an elephant’s face to make its trunk: “1 little finger…tickles your nose!” As the numbers progress, children can put two fingers through the die cuts to make a crab’s claws and “pinch, pinch”; three fingers can be a ladybug’s right feet and “climb up, up, up”; four fingers can be a monkey’s extremities and “do a silly dance”; and five little fingers at the tips of a star make it look like they “twinkle, twinkle just for you.” Up to this point the book works well, but then it rushes to an unsatisfying end. After little ones count “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 little fingers…” on verso, they then count a further “and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 more!” on recto, which feels as though they’ve been asked to add 5 + 5—math beyond their years. A sixth die cut is also there: “Oh, what’s this?” Children will wonder how they can find an 11th finger. As readers turn the page they will find two hands with 10 splayed little fingers and a “wiggly, wiggly caterpillar!” creeping up the right wrist.

A clever concept is marred by a hasty, ill-considered ending. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-2-40801-612-8

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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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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