This and its companion should give youngsters plenty about which to babble.



From the Stanley series

Learn to count with Stanley the hamster and his mole pal, Little Woo.

Simple line drawings, bright colors, and engaging animal characters make learning to count good fun in this charming board book. Stanley and Little Woo walk young readers through the numbers from one to 10 as they round up items for a picnic. Numbers and vocabulary are introduced in a series of double-page vignettes as the two friends collect a Jell-O salad, cakes, party hats, balloons, and other items for the picnic that closes the story. Admittedly, there’s not much of a plot at all, but the artwork and characters will engage budding mathematicians. The excitement of the duo as they happily plan a party for their friends is lovely to see as well. The text accompanying the climactic picnic scene asks toddlers to count the attendees. The picnic, the busiest drawing in the book, features many other items that children can count as well. Stanley’s Opposites, published concurrently, is a similarly winning vocabulary builder for young readers, contrasting “asleep” and “awake,” “in” and “out,” “open” and “closed,” “light” and “dark,” and other paired antonyms. The many unrelated contrasts in this companion volume afford even greater opportunity for whimsy and variety in the illustrations.

This and its companion should give youngsters plenty about which to babble. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-56145-976-6

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.


The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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Genial starter nonfiction.


From the PlayTabs series

Panels activated by sliding tabs introduce youngsters to the human body.

The information is presented in matter-of-fact narration and captioned, graphically simple art featuring rounded lines, oversized heads and eyes, and muted colors. The sliding panels reveal new scenes on both sides of the page, and arrows on the large tabs indicate the direction to pull them (some tabs work left and right and others up and down). Some of the tabs show only slight changes (a white child reaches for a teddy bear, demonstrating how arms and hands work), while others are much more surprising (a different white child runs to a door and on the other side of the panel is shown sitting on the toilet). The double-page spreads employ broad themes as organizers, such as “Your Body,” “Eating Right,” and “Taking Care of Your Body.” Much of the content is focused on the outside of the body, but one panel does slide to reveal an X-ray image of a skeleton. While there are a few dark brown and amber skin tones, it is mostly white children who appear in the pages to demonstrate body movements, self-care, visiting the doctor, senses, and feelings. The companion volume, Baby Animals, employs the same style of sliding panels to introduce youngsters to little critters and their parents, from baboons to penguins.

Genial starter nonfiction. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40800-850-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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