Repetition and counting offer satisfying predictability that will keep young readers turning the sturdy pages.

THE CHRISTMAS TREE

From the Pip and Posy series

The sweet, round-eyed bunny-and-mouse duo are back for a new adventure in this familiar series for the very young (The New Friend, 2017, etc.).

Cheery, horizontal, red-and-white stripes on the endpapers hint at the Christmas theme within. The plot is simple. Pip and Posy pick out a tree to decorate for Christmas. After putting it up at home, they hang candy canes, chocolate bells, and homemade cookies. When Posy’s back is turned, Pip starts to play tricks on Posy, eating the ornaments one by one. When they have all disappeared, Posy is distraught—and Pip heads to the couch to lie down. Although Posy eventually cottons on to him, she doesn’t reveal that she knows what he’s done until Pip apologizes. Together they find a solution to keep Pip from succumbing to his sweet tooth, and all is well. Visual and behavioral cues peg Pip as male and Posy as female. Pip is the taller, rascally one wearing pants while the shorter, calmer Posy wears a skirt and takes the role as caregiver, with an almost adult demeanor. Very appealing illustrations are in gouache; clean, clear images on lots of white space and large type make this an equally nice fit for reading out loud and beginning readers.

Repetition and counting offer satisfying predictability that will keep young readers turning the sturdy pages. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0276-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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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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