A delightfully silly romp.

A VERY HUNGRY WOLF

A gluttonous wolf eats several critters in this lift-the-flap offering.

A large black wolf with pointy ears and teeth looms over and stares down his prey on the recto of each spread. This page is also a gatefold; when it’s opened, readers see, spread by spread, a bird, a squirrel, a frog, and more travel into the wolf’s gullet, accompanied by the repeated refrain “CHOMP, CHOMP, down it went!” As the pages progress, the wolf’s belly grows larger after each subsequent meal. That all changes when the wolf consumes a hedgehog and the quills don’t agree with him. He soon vomits them up—all alive and well—and feels much better. Readers are encouraged to guess what the wolf should eat next from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, despite his carnivorous nature, likely in an attempt to get readers to follow suit. While predatory eating may not sound like the most natural topic for board-book–reading toddlers, Baruzzi’s cartoons are lighthearted and playful. The simply rendered characters in bold colors are alive with cheeky expressions, and the silly repeated refrain echoes many a children’s classic. The gatefold flaps are sturdy despite the thinner-than-typical board pages.

A delightfully silly romp. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-988-8342-05-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: minedition

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 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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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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