A soon-to-be favorite that kids will love hearing, and, later, paging through by themselves.

PEEK-A MOO!

From the Peek-a series

A rhyming and guessing delight for infants and toddlers.

The latest entry in author Laden’s popular Peek-a series takes readers on a fun-filled trip to a farm in search of agricultural rhymes for “Moo.” The words “Peek a” challenge children to guess who or what lies on the other side of the die-cut window on the opposite page. Behind a field of sprouting green shoots is a full-grown tomato (“Peek a GREW!”); a feed bag conceals a toothy nag chomping on hay (“Peek a CHEW!”). A rooster (“Peek a COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!”), a sheep (“Peek a EWE!”), and a mirror (“Peek a YOU, TOO!”) round out the festivities. The book is just right for small hands, and it’s sturdy enough to withstand them. The artwork is irresistible: bright colors show off the simple but elegant design. The images are deceptively cartoonish, even crude at first glance, but every drawing is embellished with meticulous, symmetrical shading suggestive of woodblock prints. The animals have loads of personality; the farming scenes and props are uncluttered, with just the right amount of detail. The rhyme scheme makes the vocabulary easy to remember, and, while the gags may not set new standards in literary humor, the element of page-turning surprise and the ever popular peekaboo motif should have little ones howling with laughter.

A soon-to-be favorite that kids will love hearing, and, later, paging through by themselves. (Board book. 6 mos.-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-5474-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among

PETE THE CAT'S 12 GROOVY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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