The playful gimmicks will keep readers turning the pages and asking for it again and again.

HORSEY UP AND DOWN

A highly interactive, lightly conceptual board book.

The first of several movable components appears on the cover, which features a Caucasian toddler on a carousel horse that can move up and down via a sliding panel. Most of the consecutive pages present relatively sturdy tactile or interactive elements, all relating to horses. White and black toy horses sport velvety coats, and covering most of the final page of the book is a large flap that doubles as the door of a horse’s stall. Readers follow a toddler duo, a boy and girl pair with dark hair who could likely be fraternal twins, through a whole range of equine-related settings. Church’s cartoons, drawn with black lines over lightly textured backgrounds, present the scenes with crystal clarity. The rhyming text is minimal, but it frames each scene nicely and is just enough for the youngest readers: “Horsey up. / Horsey down. // Horsey jumping all around. // Horsey white. / Horsey black. // Horsey rolling on the track.” While the subtitle claims this work is “A Book of Opposites,” with only three opposite concepts presented in 12 pages, it hardly qualifies as a concept book. 

The playful gimmicks will keep readers turning the pages and asking for it again and again. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: July 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-51204-6

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.

TRICK OR TREAT, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of...

BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU

A mother’s observations of her new baby lead to a series of sweet comparisons to various animals.

“When I met you, you were small and trembling, and I thought you might be a little bunny. / I held you close so you were warm.” Teen author Marr (Made for You, 2014, etc.) uses playful yet comforting language in her picture-book debut. The baby’s squirming kicks remind her of a “lost kangaroo”; a lifting of the child’s head makes her think of a “curious lizard”; and the little one’s howl seems like that of a “lonely wolf.” Each of the child’s behaviors leads to a tender action taken by the mother: tucking the baby in, offering milk, and giving a bath. Each time a new creature is introduced, White gently changes the dominant color in the muted pastel palette of her watercolor and gouache illustrations. That hue is also reflected in the hand-lettered text, giving the overall design of the book a vintage feel. When the baby smiles, the mother knows “You are not a bunny-roo-lizard-wolf-kitten-piggy. You are my baby.” The final page shows the curled-up infant asleep in a pile of blankets.

A lovely package, this quiet title will be best as a gift book for new moms eager to read aloud to the newest members of their families. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-16742-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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