A good book to help little ones who feel a bit chicken about using the potty.

I'M NOT USING THE POTTY

From the Peep and Egg series

Can Peep convince Egg to overcome fears and use the potty?

Starting on the first page of the story, Peep, the larger of the two eponymous, anthropomorphic yellow chicks, encourages a reluctant Egg to use the potty. No amount of cajoling works, however, and Egg voices fears and repeats the titular refrain on alternating spreads until the middle of the book, when the chicks head outside. Here, Wan’s digital art shifts to embrace full-bleed double-page spreads that depict Peep and Egg outside with cows drinking lemonade, ducks frolicking by a stream, and sheep using a hose to wash a tractor. (Prior pages featured blank, white backgrounds to highlight only the characters, the potty, and toilet-paper roll.) Clever Peep is clearly hoping that these surroundings will prompt Egg to use the potty after all, but they do not. Finally Peep resorts to going inside to make toilet-paper tutus and dance about. This does the trick, and a desperate Egg finally uses the potty. In a comical twist, Peep ends up ruing Egg’s newfound confidence in using the potty when the little chick settles in on the throne with a good book and Peep must wait for a turn. Wan’s bean-shaped chicks are as appealing as ever, thick, smooth outlines and uncomplicated digital colors giving the book a friendly look.

A good book to help little ones who feel a bit chicken about using the potty. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-374-30328-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Ideal for parents, whether going it alone or together, and for the babies and toddlers they love.

LEO LOVES DADDY

A fun-loving daddy’s dedication is apparent in this slice-of-life board book.

Leo, a brown-skinned boy with tight curls, full lips, and a broad nose, delights in playing with Daddy, who has equally clearly Black features. Leo wakes up to Daddy tickling his tummy. Then this superinvolved father fixes pancakes, dances, takes Leo on a bike ride, and tends to Leo’s scraped knee. Together they build with blocks, take a bath, and snuggle with a book before bed. Companion title Leo Loves Mommy follows a similar trajectory through the day. Leo builds a blanket fort with couch cushions, practices yoga, and paints with his mother, who also presents Black. After a bike ride, mommy’s lunch “is so flashy”: celery and carrot sticks turned into edible critters with fruit and nuts. The loving devotion of both parents is tangible and genuine, sweet but not cloying. Simple two-line sentences with unobtrusive rhymes across spreads provide descriptions of the activities and add vocabulary. Each spread illustrates one event against a clear solid color background, free of distracting decoration. Together they complete a full picture of a busy toddler’s day and his loving relationship with each parent.

Ideal for parents, whether going it alone or together, and for the babies and toddlers they love. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62354-241-2

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for...

HELLO LAMB

This simple board book invites little ones to greet baby farm animals (including frog, bunny, and bee) with their corresponding sounds.

The first double-page spread greets readers with a bright yellow smiling sun and the text “Hello, Sun. / Hello, Day. / Wake up, babies. / Time to play!” Each succeeding spread has a distinct, gently patterned background, with very brief text on the verso (“Hello Puppy! / Woof Woof”). Filling up the recto is a vibrant illustration of the baby animal’s face, wide eyed and smiling, outlined in black. The final spread presents the face of a cute baby with chalky brown-gray skin, bright black eyes, and short black hair: “Goo Goo.” Babies and toddlers will enjoy looking at the baby faces, animals and human, and repeating the sounds. A companion book, Goodnight Bear, has a similar pattern of text and illustrations, though the palette is suitably darker. The moon, surprisingly, has its eyes shut, and succeeding spreads depict an owlet, a baby bat, a baby hedgehog, and other familiar nocturnal baby animals, all wide-awake and smiling. The final spread depicts a cute baby with pale skin, blond hair, and closed eyes.

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for the target audience. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0430-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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