It’s a one-joke book, but with such master humorists at work, who needs anything more? (Board book. 1-3)

HERE, GEORGE!

Renowned cartoonists Boynton and Booth team up for a delightful day in the life of canine George.

This white dog lives a sedentary life and prefers to sit and sport a sour grin as members of his family beckon him one by one. With the exception of who’s calling, the first several pages are identical: “HERE, GEORGE!” says a voice. But “George does not move.” However, after they leave the pooch on his own, he hears some music and gets up to dance Snoopy-style through a full double-page spread. When his humans return, they find George in the exact same position as they left him—but with some fond memories that summon a wag from “his happy tail.” Boynton closes the work with the clever aside: “And he is wild about dancing. (Which no one knows but you).” Booth’s iconic cartoon dog, made famous in the pages of the New Yorker, is constructed with a fluid and endearingly shaky line. He masterfully registers a change in mood with a simple upward flick of a cartoon grin or a sideways glance. Boynton’s text is a simple and playful complement, rendered a stand-alone visual element by the decidedly Booth-ian faux handwritten typeface.

It’s a one-joke book, but with such master humorists at work, who needs anything more? (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2964-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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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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