Children in urban settings will recognize this city’s feel, while suburban or rural children will be equally happy to join...

CITYBLOCK

From the Block Books series

The latest addition to Franceschelli and Peskimo's (Dinoblock, 2015, etc.) collection of very thick board books exploits all the possibilities of the format.

The initial foldouts reveal a question—“How will we get around?”—and hint at modes of transportation to come: subway, taxi, bus, ferry, foot, and helicopter. That would be enough for most board books, but the story continues with “What can we do?” and “What should we eat?” before the final 20-inch panorama of the city at night. Along the way, the design team Peskimo varies its retro palette depending on the image. A carousel is bright and lively, while the view from an observatory is more muted. Shades of blue and turquoise on almost every page act as a visual throughline, and die cuts keep young children turning the pages. The story follows a white-haired, spectacled elder (who looks rather like Albert Einstein) and two children—one white, one brown—through a busy day in a diverse city. They visit dinosaurs in a natural history museum, a soccer game, a flea market, and more. That they visit a bookstore instead of a library and shop for souvenirs suggest that perhaps they are tourists. Their day's menu includes common treats: an apple, pizza, nachos, sushi, and ice cream.

Children in urban settings will recognize this city’s feel, while suburban or rural children will be equally happy to join in the adventure. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2189-2

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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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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Bright, cheerful, and summery.

HOORAY FOR SUNNY DAYS!

Revel in the pleasures of summer days.

The text’s three rhyming quatrains extol the season’s joys, from “birds in leafy trees” and “happy bees” to “eating berry pie” and “twinkling fireflies.” Cottage-dwelling woodland mammals get the full digital cartoon treatment, with giant eyes, exuberantly bushy tails, and bright clothing, hats, and eyewear. Readers see them enjoying a range of outdoor activities, from picnicking and splashing around in a pond to running barefoot in the grass and lounging in a hammock. The adorable diminutive mammals are the stars of the book, but the lively insects and birds make their presences felt too. This simple but sweet addition to the ever expanding bookshelf of estival books for younger children is more about imagery than plot, but that’s OK. The rhymes scan well, and the anaphoric repetition lends itself to read-alouds. The consistently double-page, full-bleed spreads allow readers to sense the scope of summer’s bounty. The artwork’s palette tracks the day’s arc, with morning yellows and greens ceding to violets and blues as twilight falls. Longhi’s illustrations fairly sparkle with light and Lisa Frank–esque colors. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Bright, cheerful, and summery. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66591-241-9

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

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