So-so rhymes with charming illustrations, this one doesn’t stand out for either teaching counting or sharing.

MINE!

A COUNTING BOOK ABOUT SHARING

As the title and subtitle suggest, this rhyming board book depicts countable items for a beach picnic as children learn about sharing with friends.

From one to 10, each double-page spread features a child readying a quantity of supplies for the culminating beach party. Rivadeneira’s rhyming quatrains are broken into two couplets across two spreads each, which sometimes awkwardly breaks up the rhyme, and readers stopping to count the objects on the pages will lose the rhythm. The story’s final four pages include the full quatrain without breaks, making for a tighter read-aloud. Most of the stanzas have a solid cadence, but some are forced: “I have five ripe mangoes. / I sprinkle them with salt. // I have six avocadoes. / One’s too mushy (not my fault!).” Gulliver’s illustrations are softly drawn and include nice details that readers will enjoy pointing out: playful cats and dogs, adults busy in the background, bugs on the coffee mugs. The illustration with five mangoes could confuse younger readers, however, as there are actually six items (one mango is cut in half). The final two pages are a note to parents about children learning how to share. It’s a thoughtful inclusion even if the book mostly focuses on counting things and not so much on sharing.

So-so rhymes with charming illustrations, this one doesn’t stand out for either teaching counting or sharing. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5064-4679-0

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Beaming Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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