A gentle and playful bedtime voyage.

GOOD NIGHT, GOOD NIGHT

THE ORIGINAL LONGER VERSION OF THE GOING TO BED BOOK

A motley crew of Boynton critters get ready for bed aboard a boat in this picture book based on the beloved The Going to Bed Book, first published as a board book in 1982.

“The sun has set not long ago. // Now everybody goes below // to take a bath / in one big tub / with soap all over— / SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB!” In gently rhyming verse that generations of readers have committed to memory already, a hippo, a dog, a couple of rabbits, a pig, a moose, an elephant, and more take a bath, put on pajamas, and brush their teeth. Playfully (but slightly inexplicably right before bedtime), they head to the deck to exercise. The pacing has been stretched out so that scenes that once occupied one page now stretch out over double-page spreads. The main addition to the original book’s text is an interpolated scene in which the animals pile into bed and two rabbits sing a lullaby. Complete with lyrics and notation, the song is about many of the critters wallowing in the mud with the hippos. The bedtime routine ends with the menagerie being rocked to sleep in the arklike boat. Fans of The Going to Bed Book will note that very little is actually new, but it is a joy to see Boynton’s colorful characters and playful verse in a larger trim size. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A gentle and playful bedtime voyage. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-9974-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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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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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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