Another pleasant outing with Lois and Bob

LOIS LOOKS FOR BOB AT THE BEACH

Uncluttered illustrations in muted shades set a beachy tone for Lois and Bob’s third outing.

Following the pattern established in Lois Looks for Bob at Home and Lois Looks for Bob at the Park (both 2018), Lois, a big-eyed tuxedo cat, looks behind a bucket, a rock, a beach bag, a sailboat, and an ice cream cone before finding Bob the bird behind a beach ball. Lois is always on the left-hand page; the large, die-cut gatefold flap is on the right. A hint of what might be hidden behind each flap is visible. On the final spread, Lois is also behind the beach ball, having found her friend. Where the gatefold is hinged changes on each spread. While this adds to the guesswork, it also presents a challenge for youngsters just learning how to manipulate pages and suggests an audience with some degree of small-motor skills. The flaps are also thinner than the board pages and may tear when pulled by strong little hands. As in the earlier titles, each hidden animal is greeted by a proper name (the sea gull is Geoffrey, the sea turtle is Maureen, etc.) rather than the name of the species. Most adult readers will automatically supply that missing information. A follow-up question printed on the inside of each flap (“Aren’t his feet a lovely color?”) invites further adult/child interaction.

Another pleasant outing with Lois and Bob . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0588-6

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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As warm as a hug from Grandma.

I LOVE YOU, GRANDMA

Grandma is the star in dozens of picture books for older children, but seldom is the special bond between a toddler and their grandmother portrayed in a book for very young children.

This sweet, but not saccharine, board book fills that gap. Thankfully, this grandma does not have Alzheimer’s and is not dying. She simply delights in spending time with her cherished grandchild. The narrator, a charming bear cub, is not identified as male or female, which makes it easy for both girls and boys to insert themselves in the story. Each of the six rhyming couplets is spread across double-page spreads: “I love the fun we have each day, / And all the funny things you say.” Even in its small board-book trim size, there is still plenty of room for the winsome watercolors to highlight the familiar yet memorable rituals of a day spent with a loving and patient grandma. Note: “Rory Tyger” is the collective pseudonym for the British artistic team of Richard Greaves, Tracey Simmons, and Gabrielle Murphy. Their illustrations were originally used in Good Night, Sleep Tight by Claire Freedman (2003). In that story, the little bear is resisting bedtime. This reworking is a gentle and conflict-free ode to the special love between little bear and a doting grandma.

As warm as a hug from Grandma. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68010-524-7

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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Specific visuals ground this sweet celebration of simple pleasures.

MY HEART FILLS WITH HAPPINESS

Black-haired, brown-skinned children describe many sources of happiness in this board book, dedicated by the author to “former Indian Residential School students.”

“My heart fills with happiness when… / I see the face of someone I love // I smell bannock baking in the oven / I sing.” Author Smith, who is Cree, Lakota, and Scottish-Canadian, infuses her simple text with the occasional detail that bespeaks her First Nations heritage even as she celebrates universal pleasures. In addition to the smell of bannock, the narrator delights in dancing, listening to stories, and drumming. Cree-Métis artist Flett introduces visual details that further underscore this heritage, as in the moccasins, shawl, and braids worn by the dancing child and the drum and drumsticks wielded by the adult and toddler who lovingly make music together. (The “I drum” spread is repeated immediately, possibly to emphasize its importance, a detail that may disorient readers expecting a different scene.) Although the narrative voice is consistent, the children depicted change, which readers will note by hairstyle, dress, and relative age. The bannock bakes in a modern kitchen, and most of the clothing is likewise Western, emphasizing that these Native Americans are contemporary children. There is nothing in the text that specifically identifies them by nation, however.

Specific visuals ground this sweet celebration of simple pleasures. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4598-0957-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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