Sweet but not stellar—stick with Adler’s earlier success, All of Baby, Nose to Toes, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata (2009).

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BABY, COME AWAY

A bird, cat, dog and fish take turns inviting Baby (who looks more like a toddler) to “come away.”

Each creature wants Baby to participate in its favorite activities—both real and slightly fantastical. Bird chirps, “Let’s fly up high / To my nest / In the sky / Where the green leaves rustle / And the clouds drift by,” whereas Fish promises, “We’ll dance in a ring / In the deep, deep sea / With a toe tap, finger snap, circle on the sand. / An octopus will take your hand.” Adler’s rhyming text includes opportunities for young ones to pretend to munch a worm, sip some milk, chew a bone and twirl in the sea. Unfortunately the cadence occasionally misses a beat. Walker, however, ably keeps pace with Baby’s adventures and provides colorful depictions of the playful action with just the right amount of detail for the very young to enjoy. Every animal has a welcome smile and delights in Baby’s company. But at the end of the day mother is ready with open arms for Baby to “Come back to me.” She scoops up her weary one and puts Baby to bed. The final spread shows bird, cat, dog and fish keeping watch over their dear playmate.

Sweet but not stellar—stick with Adler’s earlier success, All of Baby, Nose to Toes, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata (2009). (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-30480-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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