Toddlers familiar with the Disney movies or with obliging parents who can help them connect the dots may get something out...

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SLEEPING BEAUTY

From the Les Petit Fairytales series

A toddler-sized version of the classic fairy tale.

With one or two words per page, this board book presents the barest bones of the princess’ story. Characters are labeled and plot points shared in brightly colored scenes. While the princess does celebrate a birthday and prick her finger on a spindle, it will seem to most toddler readers that not much happens. She takes a long nap, the prince comes and wakes her up, and everyone at the palace has a party. Three others in the series publish simultaneously and follow a similar format. Rapunzel has also had the scary bits removed, and it looks like the heroine simply gets a haircut and then takes a walk in the woods before meeting her prince. In Beauty and the Beast, the book-loving young girl befriends a purple-horned lion, a fellow bibliophile, who turns into a prince with purple hair. In The Little Mermaid, the mermaid enjoys an adventure with legs on dry land with a friendly prince. The ending is vague here, but it would appear as if the heroine returns home to her family with scales intact. This quartet, which follows the previously published Snow White and Cinderella (2012), features stylized cartoons of characters with oversized heads against brightly colored backgrounds. The cover of each offering includes tactile glitter embellishments.

Toddlers familiar with the Disney movies or with obliging parents who can help them connect the dots may get something out of these summarized versions, but, like Sleeping Beauty’s fairies, the plots are going to fly right over the heads of most board-book readers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 7, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9791-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate.

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

From the Les Petit Fairytales series

The flaxen-haired tyke makes her infamous visit to the bears’ house in this simplified adaptation.

The classic story is told with minimal text, one or two words per double-page spread. Goldilocks uses speech bubbles to describe the porridge, chairs and beds (“Too hot. / Too cold. / Just right”). The bears look bemused when they find the girl snoozing in Baby Bear’s bed, and they offer an amicable and winsome goodbye when she dashes off. The richly colored cartoons, likely created with the aid of a computer, present friendly-looking characters with oversize heads. The companion release is a stripped-down version of “Little Red Riding Hood” following the same format and style, right down to the sparkly heroine’s outfit and glittery letters employed on the cover. Youngsters unfamiliar with the story may need adult help to understand that the friendly, cross-dressing wolf has actually swallowed Grandma, since all the readers see is a “Woodsman” examining the wolf’s teeth and then sending the predator away in shame.

Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9912-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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