A COLOR GAME FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

It's a shame that an examination of colors can feel so drab.

Chester Raccoon (The Kissing Hand, 1993) explores a rainbow of hues found in the great outdoors. Examples (red apple, brown caterpillar) are often small and difficult to discern against the wooded backdrop; the effort would benefit from a more dynamic design geared to the toddling set. Beginning and ending with the color white, the slight tale moves spread by spread through each featured hue. The name of each color is bolded within the text, but does not otherwise stand out from the rest of the black-on-white print. Each object is named within the verse, which often suffers from the necessity of making meter and rhyme. “School's Owl Teacher / Plays while she sings / ‘See the orange butterfly / Open its wings!’ ” A final call for audience participation falls flat. “You can play too! / You can play day or night. / Find Chester's colors / Beginning with WHITE.” Though the head-on view of Chester's friend Badger hunkered down to go eye to eye with the caterpillar is appealing, too often Chester's expression is fixedly cheerful, and the body language does not vary enough. Without developed visual characterization or effective demonstration of concept, it's best to kiss this one goodbye. (Board book. 1-3)

 

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-933718-58-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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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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It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for...

HELLO LAMB

This simple board book invites little ones to greet baby farm animals (including frog, bunny, and bee) with their corresponding sounds.

The first double-page spread greets readers with a bright yellow smiling sun and the text “Hello, Sun. / Hello, Day. / Wake up, babies. / Time to play!” Each succeeding spread has a distinct, gently patterned background, with very brief text on the verso (“Hello Puppy! / Woof Woof”). Filling up the recto is a vibrant illustration of the baby animal’s face, wide eyed and smiling, outlined in black. The final spread presents the face of a cute baby with chalky brown-gray skin, bright black eyes, and short black hair: “Goo Goo.” Babies and toddlers will enjoy looking at the baby faces, animals and human, and repeating the sounds. A companion book, Goodnight Bear, has a similar pattern of text and illustrations, though the palette is suitably darker. The moon, surprisingly, has its eyes shut, and succeeding spreads depict an owlet, a baby bat, a baby hedgehog, and other familiar nocturnal baby animals, all wide-awake and smiling. The final spread depicts a cute baby with pale skin, blond hair, and closed eyes.

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for the target audience. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0430-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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