An environmentally conscious charmer.


From the All Natural series

Follow Little Duck as she frolics in her pond. Pick up this board book and immediately notice the pleasing matte, cardboardlike texture of the paper. On the book’s cover, an illustrated leaf proclaims the materials to be “all-natural,” which the publisher attributes to the use of eco-friendly inks and all-recycled paper, a fact that’s sure to delight eco-conscious book buyers. Inside is a pitch-perfect toddler tale chronicling Little Duck’s mild adventures, from splashing into a pond, spotting a dragonfly, greeting a friendly frog and fish, and briefly losing (and then immediately relocating) her siblings to “cuddles [from] Mama” at the end. A direct, matter-of-fact narration recounts the list of activities, striking the perfect balance between sentences concise enough to hold little ones’ attention while adding a smattering of rich vocabulary: “Little Duck is curious and swims closer. The dragonfly’s wings glitter brightly in the sun.” Collagelike illustrations composed of rounded, unlined shapes make the main character look rather like a cheery rubber ducky while minimal and coarsely textured natural environments are pleasantly atmospheric. Because of the unbleached paper, the colors are rather dull, and the lack of contrast gears this for somewhat older readers. A companion book, Little Fox, is equally gentle but suffers from a static main character and an unfortunate typo that confuses the book’s timeline. An environmentally conscious charmer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4598-2694-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.


From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.


From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?