A lovely celebration of the simple joys of childhood.

PIGS IN A BLANKET

Three active piglets do everything little children love to do.

This board book charms before the first page is turned, as the three titular pigs snooze peacefully on the cover beneath a cardboard “blanket” that wraps around both book and pigs, held snug by two magnets. What follows is a full and active day in the lives of the piggies, told in paired scenes with rhyming text. “Pigs in a blanket wake up with the sun. / Pigs in underwear love to have fun.” The pigs appear to be siblings, rising together, going through their day, and retiring once again to their shared bed and blanket. Their genders aren’t specified in the text; in Salcedo’s delicate cartoons they appear to be two boys, sans hair, and one girl, with a sweet smile and pigtails. The three play together all day, racing, stomping in puddles, playing dress-up, dancing in tutus, baking pies, putting on a puppet show, and then washing up, brushing teeth, and tucking themselves back in to their cozy bed and blanket. The illustrations are delightfully playful and energetic. The piglets’ day of play is so archetypal of an active child’s routine readers easily forget the porcine nature of the protagonists, their snouts and twirly tails being the only reminders. These pigs are Everykid, playing hard, winding down, and sleeping peacefully so they can do it again tomorrow.

A lovely celebration of the simple joys of childhood. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4521-6451-9

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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