With large, sturdy board pages just right for tiny hands, this is a sweet selection for baby’s bedtime.

KISS, KISS GOOD NIGHT

One by one, animal mothers tuck their babies into bed, easing them off to dreamland with snuggles and kisses.

Soothing rhythms and apt and varied vocabulary make this goodnight book special. Take, for example: “When cuddly cubs begin to doze, their mothers stroke them on the nose, / then grumble softly in their ear. / In Bear that means / ‘Good night, my dear.’ ” The adorable animal mothers and babies—bunnies, cats, lambs and chicks, in addition to the bears—look absolutely blissful as they cuddle up and settle in for some rest. These sweet scenes are set against a bluish-purple night sky dotted with white stars that twinkle merrily down on the sleeping critters. The final spread incorporates all of the animal families at once and offers a pleasing closing sentiment: “And with that nuzzle, kiss / or hug, the animals sleep, / warm and snug, / the way that babies always do / when mothers tell them, ‘I love you.’ ” While this title is perfect for mother-baby bonding, it doesn’t include any doting dads. Papas who want in on the action might try Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben’s Daddy Kisses (2003) or Karen Katz’s Daddy Hugs (2007).

With large, sturdy board pages just right for tiny hands, this is a sweet selection for baby’s bedtime. (Board book. 0-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-47957-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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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 wonderfully charming tale of family and sisters that anyone can bond with.

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SISTERS

Two sisters who are constantly at odds take a family road trip that covers more ground—both literally and figuratively—than they expect.

After begging her parents for a sister, Raina gets more than she bargained for once Amara is born. From the moment she was brought home, Amara hasn’t been quite the cuddly playmate that Raina had hoped. As the years pass, the girls bicker constantly and apparently couldn’t be more unalike: Raina spends her time indoors underneath her headphones, and Amara loves animals and the outdoors. The girls, their mother and their little brother all pack up to drive to a family reunion, and it seems like the trip’s just going to be more of the same, with the girls incessantly picking on each other all the way from San Francisco to Colorado. However, when the trip doesn’t go quite as planned—for a number of reasons—the girls manage to find some common ground. Told in then-and-now narratives that are easily discernable in the graphic format, Telgemeier’s tale is laugh-out-loud funny (especially the story about the snake incident) and quietly serious all at once. Her rounded, buoyant art coupled with a masterful capacity for facial expressions complements the writing perfectly. Fans of her previous books Smile (2010) and Drama (2012) shouldn’t miss this one; it’s a winner.

A wonderfully charming tale of family and sisters that anyone can bond with. (Graphic memoir. 7-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-54059-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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