Good for a holiday snuggle with a little one.

I LOVE YOU THROUGH AND THROUGH AT CHRISTMAS, TOO!

Loving assurance comes wrapped in holiday sentiments.

Church’s round-faced toddler will be instantly recognizable from previous titles thanks to the tiny eyes and toothless smile. Whether inside or out, both the child and a teddy-bear companion sport bright red Santa hats. The gentle, first-person text assures this winsome toddler of the narrator’s unconditional love while the text evokes both the frenetic activity of Christmas preparations and the ideals of the season. “[S]hopping and wrapping / making and baking” are balanced by “I love you because you are patient and kind, // merry and bright, // helping and giving.” Sometimes the text rhymes (“I love you with bells and wreaths, // garland and trees”), but instead of forcing consistent rhymes, Rossetti-Shustak relies on rhythm and pacing to deliver her message. Muted greens, russet reds, and tawny backgrounds scattered with stars and snowflakes give the illustrations an old-fashioned feel. The sturdy binding and padded covers will survive rough handling. There’s not a real story here; just an attitude of unmitigated acceptance. The child has light skin and a few wisps of brown hair.

Good for a holiday snuggle with a little one. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-23010-9

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead.

THE ITSY BITSY BUNNY

An Easter-themed board-book parody of the traditional nursery rhyme.

Unfortunately, this effort is just as sugary and uninspired as The Itsy Bitsy Snowman, offered by the same pair in 2015. A cheerful white bunny hops through a pastel world to distribute candy and treats for Easter but spills his baskets. A hedgehog, fox, mouse, and various birds come to the bunny’s rescue, retrieving the candy, helping to devise a distribution plan, and hiding the eggs. Then magically, they all fly off in a hot air balloon as the little animals in the village emerge to find the treats. Without any apparent purpose, the type changes color to highlight some words. For very young children every word is new, so highlighting “tiny tail” or “friends” makes no sense. Although the text is meant to be sung, the words don't quite fit the rhythm of the original song. Moreover, there are not clear motions to accompany the text; without the fingerplay movements, this book has none of the satisfying verve of the traditional version.

Leave the hopping to Peter Cottontail and sing the original song instead. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5621-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of...

BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU

A mother’s observations of her new baby lead to a series of sweet comparisons to various animals.

“When I met you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. / I held you close so you were warm.” Teen author Marr (Made for You, 2014, etc.) uses playful yet comforting language in her picture-book debut. The baby’s squirming kicks remind her of a “lost kangaroo”; a lifting of the child’s head makes her think of a “curious lizard”; and the little one’s howl seems like that of a “lonely wolf.” Each of the child’s behaviors leads to a tender action taken by the mother: tucking the baby in, offering milk, and giving a bath. Each time a new creature is introduced, White gently changes the dominant color in the muted pastel palette of her watercolor and gouache illustrations. That hue is also reflected in the hand-lettered text, giving the overall design of the book a vintage feel. When the baby smiles, the mother knows “You are not a bunny-roo-lizard-wolf-kitten-piggy. You are my baby.” The final page shows the curled-up infant asleep in a pile of blankets.

A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of their families. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-16742-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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