Suffice to say, if Tullet can conceive it, adults and children will both enjoy it.

THE GAME OF TOPS AND TAILS

From the Let's Play Games! series

Tullet continues to expand his Let’s Play Games! series.

Publishing simultaneously with three other books, the titular game is simple enough for young children to enjoy but complex enough to keep design-oriented adults engaged (and therefore reading with their children). Split pages combine in multiple wordless combinations to illustrate prepositions—on, under, above, below, etc. The images line up neatly, sometimes creating surprising juxtapositions, from an acrobat balanced on a mountaintop to an elephant carrying a truck to a finger pointing at a camel. Bright, primary colors and thick, black lines make for arresting, attention-getting compositions. The Game of Lines features split pages cut on an angle and shocking yellow and pink lines that create myriad patterns; it will capture the attention of even very young babies. The Good Morning Game comes with instructions to adults to draw faces on their fingers, sticking them through die-cut holes in each page as puppets—ideal for playing with children ready for text. The Trail Game also features split pages and is the least successful of the quartet; the trails do not always line up, making for a simple matching game.

Suffice to say, if Tullet can conceive it, adults and children will both enjoy it. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7148-6874-5

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Phaidon

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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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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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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