A pleasant, if one-note, bit of fun, the perfect size for a toddler’s Easter basket.

EASTER BUNNY

A WAG MY TAIL BOOK

Bunny hunts for an Easter egg as young readers wag her tail.

When readers pull the large, smoothly moving tab on the right edge of the book, a mechanism inside moves the rabbit’s puffball tail, covered in white felt, that protrudes over the top of the pages. The back cover extends higher than the front and internal pages to protect the tail—and little fingers—as it moves. Bunny finds three eggs, one on each double-page spread, but they belong to a butterfly, a duckling, and a robin, respectively. (The butterfly’s and the duckling’s eggs are brightly painted Easter eggs; the robin’s are its clutch of bright blue eggs in a nest.) The sound that each animal makes is written on the bottom right corner of the previous recto, providing a clue as to who will be appearing on the next page. (“Flap! Flap!” goes the butterfly; “Chirp! Chirp!” goes the robin.) Bunny becomes more and more despondent, with her ears sinking lower on the page. A trio of bees finally brings Bunny her egg, tied up with a yellow bow. While the cartoons are relatively static, using thick, black lines awash in bright colors, Yoon succeeds in showing Bunny’s feelings with deft changes in eye and mouth placement.

A pleasant, if one-note, bit of fun, the perfect size for a toddler’s Easter basket. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4344-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside.

EIGHT JOLLY REINDEER

Readers can count down eight of Santa's reindeer as they jump up and out of the scene. 

In each one of the mostly double-page spreads, one reindeer, from Dasher to Blitzen, plays a central role in a winter activity (sledding, ski jumping, ice skating—and soccer and yoga?) that launches the creature into the air. Glitter-speckled tabs, each with small portraits of a member of Santa's herd, appear at either the top or the right side of each page, which little fingers will enjoy flipping. In what looks to be pencil-and-watercolor cartoons, Rogers uses different facial expressions, as well as collars, bows or other accessories, to distinguish the reindeer from one another. Donner (not Donder) and Blitzen are squeezed together on the penultimate spread, likely to keep the page count down. The verse mostly scans, but the rhyme scheme has become the cliché of counting books: "Eight jolly reindeer / stretching up to heaven. / Up goes Dasher / and then there are... // Seven...." Santa, his iconic sleigh and the eight reindeer in flight make a dramatic and required appearance on the book's final double-page spread. 

As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-65145-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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