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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MY PUMPKIN

A trio of monsters enjoy Halloween festivities in this pumpkin-shaped board-book offering.

A fuzzy blue critter with horns, accompanied by a purple dinosaurlike creature and yellow beastie with pigtails, selects a pumpkin from a patch, carves it and takes it to a jack-o’-lantern contest. The rhyming text, with one line per page, is forced and doesn’t scan: “Pumpkin, pumpkin, big and steady, / Costumes and carving, time to get ready!” While the three central characters are appropriately toddler-friendly, monsters dressing up for Halloween is a bit of a conceptual stretch. The shiny orange foil cover and the bright orange pumpkins within are eye-catching, but the rest of the palette—pale blues, greens, grays and browns—causes some of the characters to fade into the scenery in Marts’ quirky cartoons. This slight slice of pumpkin pie will tempt few little trick-or-treaters. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

 

Pub Date: June 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-49332-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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An acceptable and sturdy addition to the Easter basket for baby bunnies deemed too young to handle Dorothy Kunhardt's more...

FIVE LITTLE BUNNIES

Following on the successful Five Little Pumpkins (2003), Yaccarino teams with Rabe for bunnies.

The five pastel bunnies are cute enough, and the rhymes are accurate, if somewhat wordy for toddlers. But without a clear one-to-one relationship between the words and the pictures, it is not always clear which bunny is speaking and what is being counted. The bunnies, identified as first, second, and so on, hop around the pages instead of staying in a consistent order as the rhyme implies. Naming them by color might have been a better choice, but that would mean abandoning the finger-play counting-rhyme formula. The children who show up to hunt the eggs are a multicultural cast of cartoonish figures with those in the background drawn as blue and green silhouettes. Though the text on the back cover invites children to count the eggs, there is no hint as to how many eggs they should find. Neither the verse nor the pictures provide counting assistance. The youngest children will not care about any of this; they will be content to point out the different colors of the bunnies and the patterns on the eggs.

An acceptable and sturdy addition to the Easter basket for baby bunnies deemed too young to handle Dorothy Kunhardt's more satisfying but fragile classic, Pat the Bunny. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-225339-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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