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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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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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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