Playground fun becomes much more through the eyes of a child in this simple story.

WHERE DID YOU GO TODAY?

From the Child's Play Library series

A young child recounts a series of playful endeavors to an adult companion as they walk hand in hand through a city.

The story follows the narrator’s journey around various playground activities and provides a window into a child’s creativity. In the retelling of the day, swinging on a swingset becomes flying, a slide becomes a snowy mountainside, a pond becomes an ocean, and a tunnel becomes a dark cave. Especially sweet is the image of the imagined jungle animals following the pair home from the park as the child enjoys a piggyback ride. Relationships between characters are left open to interpretation. The child waves goodbye to the adult from the park and is embraced by someone new, maybe a parent or caregiver. Duke’s line drawings are set against simple, often abstract backgrounds in cool tones. The illustrations’ muted color palette paired with the minimalist prose gives the story a subdued feeling even though it centers on play and imagination. Readers don’t learn many details about the characters in this story, but children of color, a child who uses a wheelchair, and an adult with a hearing aid are depicted. The protagonist has straight, black hair and light-brown skin; the adult companion has somewhat darker-brown skin, and the adult at home presents white.

Playground fun becomes much more through the eyes of a child in this simple story. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78628-201-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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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 good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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