Kirwan’s style is energetic and enjoyable, and here’s hoping she can find more developmentally appropriate material.

READ REVIEW

BABY LOVES TO ROCK!

Various animals and one baby show off their musical talents.

With one sentence per page and puns that are a mix of the clever and the groan-worthy, the text shares the type of music each creature prefers: “The skunk loves punk. / The weasel likes to pop.” The spreads depict the critters engaging in music-related activities and sporting appropriate clothing, accessories and instruments. The highly saturated, slickly retro cartoons have a playful energy and truly pop against solid-color backgrounds with black panels at the bottom for the text. A double-page spread appears at three different intervals asking a variation of “But who really loves to rock?” in a graphic, bold type. On the last two pages, readers learn that “Baby loves to rock, rock, ROCK!” An exuberant infant with oversize eyes appears on a rocking horse, in a cradle and then finally “rocking out” on an electric guitar. While there are ingenious moments in the words and the visuals, all of it is going to go over the heads of babies and toddlers. This is one of those board books that is more for the grown-up readers than the children themselves.

Kirwan’s style is energetic and enjoyable, and here’s hoping she can find more developmentally appropriate material. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 29, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-5989-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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