Stellar fun for any astronaut-to-be.

ALIEN BABY!

From the Hazy Dell Flap Book series

Entertainment for tots that’s visually and conceptually out of this world.

“They’re here…” and they’re babies! That’s the message from this delightful bedtime diversion. A classically bug-eyed ET and their otherworldly friends charm and amuse in this small, sturdy exploration of the paranormal for toddlers. Eye-catching artwork evokes the great science-fiction and fantasy pulp art of yesteryear, only with playful, toddler-sized creatures with big grins and a sense of adventure. The text is a series of rhymed couplets presented over bright and dazzling double-page spreads. Each vignette poses a question on the first page that is answered by opening a well-secured but mercifully easy-to-open flap on recto: “Who’s zipping past in a flash of light?” Opening the flap reveals the answer: “It’s Alien Baby taking flight!” The die-cut flaps won’t tear easily, and little fingers can grab and open each one with ease thanks to the unusual thickness of the pages and the generous amount of space between the edge of each flap and the rest of the page upon which it resides. UFOlogists will recognize Alien Baby as a “Roswell Gray.” The supporting cast includes a “space baboon,” a robot, a “lizard man,” two startled human astronauts (one brown skinned and one pale), and two adoring parents to tuck Alien Baby in to a whispered “night, night!” Companion title Bigfoot Baby! is earthbound and equally charming.

Stellar fun for any astronaut-to-be. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-948931-09-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Hazy Dell Press

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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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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A ferociously entertaining blend of wonder, thrills, and science.

DINOSAUR ADVENTURE

From the Zoom series

Young explorers risk prehistoric perils and cataclysmic destruction to learn about the dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous.

Best friends Jasmine (who has brown skin and wears dark hair in a braid) and Jamie (who presents White and has a thatch of brown hair) set their time machine for the days of the dinosaurs, go exploring, and make it home in time for dinner. This well-constructed board book is both visually engaging and as rich in information as it is in adventure. It features 17 different two-page set pieces, 24 distinctly labeled prehistoric creatures, creative die cuts offering tantalizing peeks at what lies beyond each turn of the page, and a spectacular pop-up of the asteroid that caused the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. The adventurers journey through or over habitats ranging from jungles, swamps, deserts, plains, and oceans and fly through the air and dive in the sea with the help of a friendly pterosaur and elasmosaurus, respectively. The featured creatures are all Age-appropriate, as is the asteroid. The two friends are cool and cavalier about tracking T. rex and chasing Velociraptor. Caregivers might want to caution their charges that, if or when they get their time machines working, they should exercise appropriate caution when approaching powerful, carnivorous eating machines. Companion volume Rainforest Adventure stars a light-brown–skinned girl named Lin and is a similarly engaging and informative trek down the Amazon and, once again, home by dinner. Both offer inspiration for inquisitive young adventurers everywhere.

A ferociously entertaining blend of wonder, thrills, and science. (Board book. 1-5)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-912920-46-4

Page Count: 36

Publisher: What on Earth Books

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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Cute, harmless, and unlikely to achieve classic status.

I BELIEVE IN BUNNYCORNS

Copious amounts of glitter and rainbows and a die-cut rainbow flower add a bit of interest to this celebration of the titular one-horned bunnies.

With simple, rhyming text and high-contrast, neon illustrations, this book is like cotton candy for the eyes and ears. Like that sugary confection, it’s sweet—arguably, too much so. “We’re going on a bunny hunt / to find the bunnycorns. / We follow trails of sparkle dust / and look for shiny horns! // We’ll find them in the places / where candy carrots grow. / I CAN SEE A BUNNYCORN! / Let’s go and say hello!” As the claims about the bunnycorns grow more extravagant, the artwork explodes in garish bursts of color. As for the aforementioned die-cut flower, it starts as a large cutout on the front cover of the book, becoming progressively smaller through each successive page, till it ends as a glittery, yellow single flower on the second-to-last double-page spread. In the denouement that follows, the narrative voice breaks the literary fourth wall: “If you believe in bunnycorns, / then they’ll believe in you. / ’Cause bunnycorns are special, / and baby, YOU are too!” The use of bunnies, of course, constitutes a radical departure from author McLean and illustrator Le Tandé’s 2019 opus, I Love My Llamacorn.

Cute, harmless, and unlikely to achieve classic status. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12643-1

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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