LEAP BACK HOME TO ME

Veteran picture-book author Thompson teams with Cordell to create a deceptively simple instant classic. Little frog and his mother share a warm lily-pad embrace on the cover. Then comes the action: “Leap frog over the ladybug. Leap frog over the bee. / Leap frog over the prickly clover, / then leap back home to me!” As the little amphibian takes each ever-more-ambitious jumping adventure, his mother happily welcomes him back. The rhyming text creates a loving refrain that young ones will enjoy repeating. Sound effects for alternating excursions add to the interactive fun, as frog goes, “PLIP! … SPROING! … WHEEEEE! … WHOOSH!” over clover, splashing beavers, rocky hilltops and roaming clouds. Cordell works his magic with pen, ink and vibrant watercolors to not only perfectly complement the text but also show little frog’s growing confidence and sheer glee at each accomplishment as the day progresses. Mama frog patiently awaits her little one with smiles, crayons, a storybook, dinner and, finally, another hug as he does a “Leap frog over the sun. / Leap frog as high as you please. / Leap frog out to the farthest stars… / when you leap home, here I’ll be.” A sure delight to present to a preschool group or share one on one. Hop to it and make sure this is on your shelf! (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-0664-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

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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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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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