A book to enjoy with dog-loving little ones—if not one to follow for its gift-giving advice.

PUPPY, PUPPY, PUPPY

Puppy and Baby are double the trouble and double the love in this baby-and-dog picture book.

The title-page illustration shows bald, brown-skinned Baby receiving a new puppy as a gift while dubious parents look on. Baby, Mommy, and an older couple who appears to be her puppy-as-gift-giving parents are all people of color with brown skin, while Baby’s father appears to be white. The presumably well-intended (and clueless?!) grandparents are never mentioned in the text and don’t appear again in the story, leaving Mommy and Daddy to deal with a series of mishaps as “Baby enjoys breakfast” and Puppy does too, and then they get dressed, work in the garden, and bathe. Understated text achieves humor through counterpoint with comical illustrations that reveal the messes and mischief inherent in these activities. When Mommy and Daddy collapse at naptime, wakeful Baby and Puppy overcome their separation wrought by a baby gate and crib and from then on: “Baby stays beside Puppy. Puppy stays beside Baby. Every single second. No matter what.” By the book’s end it seems that Mommy and Daddy have decided to just go with the flow of their gruesome twosome and embrace the toddler-canine chaos.

A book to enjoy with dog-loving little ones—if not one to follow for its gift-giving advice. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62979-466-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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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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Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.

NOISY TRACTOR

From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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