This lackluster effort does not add much to an already-stuffed genre of bedtime books.

SHHH...GOOD NIGHT

Parent and baby animals get ready to snuggle down at bedtime in the forest.

Each double-page spread contains a poem on the verso and images of various creatures settling down for the night on the recto. A mother bird quiets her fledgling; a squirrel hugs their baby; parent and baby fireflies doze on a leaf; and a deer and fawn snuggle together. Elaborate die cuts in flower, leaf, and tree shapes offer glimpses of the subsequent spreads and keep the first verse of each poem in view when the page containing the second verse is turned. The final spread shows a variety of parent and baby animals bedding down for the night. The collage-effect, jewel-toned illustrations are attractive and pleasingly designed, although the anthropomorphized creatures have a cartoonish look. The die cuts are complex but don’t add much to the reading experience. The simple, soothing, but sometimes awkwardly constructed rhymes are suitable for bedtime but sometimes confusing; readers are exhorted to “Watch sunny skies turn gray,” but the skies are resolutely pink in the illustration. A curious child might wonder why fireflies go to sleep if they’re shining at night? The complexity of the production fails to disguise otherwise simplistic and unoriginal content.

This lackluster effort does not add much to an already-stuffed genre of bedtime books. (Novelty. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-261-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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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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