Best for sharing one-on-one with little ones.

LOIS LOOKS FOR BOB AT HOME

Lois, a winsome kitty, looks for Bob, her unlikely bird companion, in this clever lift-the-flap board book.

The black-and-white cat with expressive, large yellow eyes looks “behind the guitar,” “on the table,” “in the cupboard,” “by the coats,” and “on the windowsill” before finally finding Bob “on the armchair.” Behind each object, printed on a shaped gatefold, is a different animal—just not the bird hinted at on the cover until the last. When the animals are revealed, they are identified by a proper name rather than by the generic name of the animal; this is followed by a comment or question. The narrator announces that it’s “Daphne!” (a mouse) inside the cupboard and then asks, “Do you think she’s supposed to be eating that cheese?” Young children who are just learning to recognize common animals may initially be confused by a bunny named “Clifford” or a fish named “Eugene,” opening up an opportunity for adult-child conversation that’s reinforced by the follow-up question. A companion volume, Lois Looks for Bob at the Park, follows the same format. The sturdy flaps are large, interesting shapes that are also easily manipulated. The illustrations are clear and uncluttered, tuxedo cat Lois standing out against muted, pastel backgrounds.

Best for sharing one-on-one with little ones. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0254-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Light, friendly, and not at all preachy—a gentle win for a kinder world.

ABCS OF KINDNESS

Rhyming couplets use the alphabet to simply explain the abstract concept of kindness.

Each letter of the alphabet stands for a word that adds nuance to the notion while line drawings of pink-cheeked stuffed animals—bear, bunny, elephant, mouse, lion, and giraffe—illustrate the behavior. The verses hint at exactly how to act kindly. Some are concrete: “Ii is for inviting everyone to play.” Some suggest attitudes that facilitate kindness. For example, “Bb is for believing things will be okay in the end!” and “Hh is for hope—tomorrow’s another day!” While many might take issue with the simplistic assertion that “Ee is for everyone—we are all the same,” taken as a whole, the book will lead even the youngest toddlers to the message. Organizationally, the book devotes one page each to 11 letters while 14 others share pages. “Zz is sleeping peacefully when your day of kindness is through” sprawls across a final double-page spread, showing all the animals fast asleep. Creating an ABC book is harder than this makes it look. The true test is what is chosen to represent Q, X, Y, and Z. “Quiet times,” “Yes I can,” and the aforementioned “zzz”s ably rise to the challenge. “Xx is for kisses” is a bit of a stretch but understandable. Pastel backgrounds, uncluttered design, and unforced rhymes keep the focus on the concept.

Light, friendly, and not at all preachy—a gentle win for a kinder world. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-593-12307-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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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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