A disappointing trip on a too-frequently-driven track

PEEK-A CHOO-CHOO!

From the Peek-a series

Laden revisits the formula she found early success with in Peek-a Who? (2000).

Unfortunately, in this fourth outing, it’s feeling a little worn. Even the kidney-shaped die cuts designed to entice inquisitive babies are placed exactly as they were in the earlier books. The image glimpsed through the hole hints at the picture and word that will be revealed when the page is turned. This time the common theme is modes of travel, starting with a train, then a canoe, rocket, balloon, and shoe. Obviously, only “canoe” and “shoe” rhyme with “choo-choo,” so Laden stretches the game to "flew" for the rocket and "blew" for the hot air balloon. Very young children may be confused by the kites that fly across the page before the balloon is discovered (their strings become the balloon’s seams after the page-turn). They may also wonder why Laden abandons the single-word rhyme scheme on the final page, which is occupied by a mirror. Logically, it should say, "You!" Instead, it reads, "Peek-a I SEE YOU!"—which does not make for a smooth end to this trip. The plastic film that protects the mirror is a choking hazard and should be removed before allowing young children to handle the book independently.

A disappointing trip on a too-frequently-driven track . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4521-5473-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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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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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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