Crab is a cheerfully cheeky crustacean if a bit uninspiring.

SNAP

From the My Little World series

A playful red crab teases his fellow brightly hued sea creatures in this color concept book.

A red crab “shock[s]” a blue fish, “surprise[s]” a green turtle, and encounters a yellow sea horse. Claw-shaped die cuts appear on each recto in ever decreasing sizes to provide a sensory experience for the youngest readers. This also has the effect of pinning the crab in claws-up position in every scene, with backgrounds and sea flora and fauna changing to provide some compositional variety, and his varied facial expressions also help to make up for this. Scientifically preferred terms, such as pink “sea jelly” (which smiles seraphically) and orange “sea star,” are included in the bland, unevenly scanning rhymed couplets that are meted out on each spread: “Green sea turtle cannot believe her eyes / when crab snap snaps—what a surprise!” The saucy crab finally gets his comeuppance when a gray shark appears on the scene, making the crab scuttle into hiding. The graphically clean imagery features a color palette that is appropriately watery, but the black, sans-serif type is virtually unreadable on a couple of the spreads, when it is set on a dark-blue background.

Crab is a cheerfully cheeky crustacean if a bit uninspiring. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-625-1

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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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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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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