Gentle, atmospheric, and lovely.

WHERE GO THE BOATS?

This Robert Louis Stevenson poem is brought to life on pages that fold out rather than turn.

On the cover, a White-presenting child with short, light-brown hair sets a toy sailboat adrift on a river. The book’s pages then open up left to right to reveal an expanding scene of the riverbank, with several more of these toy boats sailing down the water. Two to four lines of Stevenson’s verse are shared in white type on each page. As the book unfolds readers see more of the scene, including a frog eyeing its insect dinner flying overhead, a deer gazing at the water, and the silhouettes of a baseball-cap–wearing grown-up fishing with a child who’s admiring the boats. Sheban’s soft, golden-hour–lit art, in what looks to be watercolor and pastel or pencil, matches the mood of the poem perfectly. While the unusual binding is a brilliant idea that allows the structure of the book to emulate a meandering river, it may prove slightly unwieldy for lap reading, as, when extended, it is more than 3 feet long. The scene is completed with a view of another White child, this one with long hair, retrieving one of the toy boats. The content of Stevenson’s poem may float over the heads of the youngest readers, but the language is gorgeously sonorous, and the art and format do a wonderful job of creating an immersive experience.

Gentle, atmospheric, and lovely. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-56846-352-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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A satisfying friendship story to share with very young children in the days leading up to Halloween.

TEENY TINY GHOST

This board book twists the traditional “Teeny Tiny” tale into a less-scary Halloween treat.

This version uses a singsong-y rhythm and cadence to tell the story. “In the teeny tiny barn / Of a teeny tiny house... / Lived a teeny tiny ghost / and a teeny tiny mouse.” Of course the ghost (being teeny tiny) is not very frightening. “But the determined little ghost / Let her mighty courage through / And with a teeny tiny breath / She said a teeny tiny: boo.” Spoiler alert: After just seven page turns the ghost and mouse become friends: “And now the teeny tinies play / In the teeny tiny house. / Just a teeny tiny ghost / And her best friend, mouse.” Pumpkins decorate the cover and final spread and illustrations throughout are in autumnal hues. The fairly high-for-the-format word count—19 to 21 words per page—may be more than toddlers will sit still for, but the “teeny tiny” repetition and rhymes will help. The size (just 6 inches square) makes using the book with a group a challenge, but with a lap-sitting child, it’ll be a pleasure.

A satisfying friendship story to share with very young children in the days leading up to Halloween. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-31848-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Similar to Lenny Hort’s Seals on the Bus, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2000), this treatment populates the bus with a...

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS

Cabrera continues to adapt nursery rhymes and children’s songs (Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, 2010, etc.) into interactive picture books for the young preschool set, here taking on that beloved bus ride.

Similar to Lenny Hort’s Seals on the Bus, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2000), this treatment populates the bus with a menagerie of African animals ranging from the common lion and zebra to lesser-known flamingos and bush babies. Most animals make a trio of sounds, like the monkeys’ “Chatter, chatter, chatter” or the hyena’s “Ha, ho, hee,” but on occasion there is action: The chameleon “plays Hide-and-seek.” The tale ends as the giraffe driver delivers the wild riders to a watering hole with a satisfying “SPLISH! SPLASH! SPLOSH! All day long!” Readers will enjoy the journey Cabrera illustrates with her easily recognizable style—bright hues outlined in black, with a finger-paint–like texture.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2350-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

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