In all, a charming introduction to the familiar animals of the farm for youngsters.

PEEK-A-BOO FARM

A “guess who” game for very young children introduces seven animals they might meet on a farm.

Peekaboo is a perennially favorite game. It teaches object permanence and basic trust that the world is a safe, predictable place. Peekaboo books abound, perhaps because at just the right developmental stage, the simple game always reassures and empowers. Babies and toddlers will not tire of the game, even when they know the answers. In this slight version of the game, a rhyming verse gives clues to the identity of the animal hiding its eyes on the opposite page. A large flap opens to answer “Guess who?” with “Peek-a-boo!” and the animal's face and name. Wan has made the pig, sheep, cow, rabbit, cat, and dog almost exactly the same size, with the colors and shapes of their ears doing most of the work to differentiate between the species. Exactly how a cow or pig covers its eyes with its hooves may mystify adults, but it won't bother children. The flaps are sturdy but may not hold up to the repeated handling the book is bound to encourage.

In all, a charming introduction to the familiar animals of the farm for youngsters. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-75045-5

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers.

I LOVE YOU LIKE NO OTTER

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring through rhymed puns and sentimental art.

The title sets the scene for what’s to come: The owl asks the owlet as they fly together, “WHOO loves you?”; the kangaroo and joey make each other “very HOPPY”; and the lioness and cub are a “PURRRFECT pair.” Most of the puns are both unimaginative and groanworthy, and they are likely to go over the heads of toddlers, who are not know for their wordplay abilities. The text is set in abcb quatrains split over two double-page spreads. On each spread, one couplet appears on the verso within a lightly decorated border on pastel pages. On the recto, a full-bleed portrait of the animal and baby appears in softly colored and cozy images. Hearts are prominent on every page, floating between the parent and baby as if it is necessary to show the love between each pair. Although these critters are depicted in mistily conceived natural habitats and are unclothed, they are human stand-ins through and through.

The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers. (Board book. 6 mos-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1374-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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