Another sweet Boynton bedtime read-aloud for the family bookshelf.

JUNGLE NIGHT

From the Boynton on Board series

In the quiet jungle night, a snoring elephant disturbs the snoozing animals’ peace.

This takes its place in Boynton’s great bedtime–board-book oeuvre, next to The Going To Bed Book (1982) and so many others. “It is nighttime in the jungle. / The moon will surely rise. / All the animals are sleeping, / with whisperings and sighs,” the story begins. Each turn of the page shows a different dozing animal with its own unique sound. The tiger goes, “ZEEE-ZOOO-HAAA,” and the frogs go, “BROPP-BRUPPIT!” Set within Boynton’s assured verse, these sounds make for a particularly delicious read-aloud. “But sometime after midnight, / the elephant goes… // SNORE! // And whoever had been sleeping / isn’t sleeping anymore.” Boynton’s illustrations include her classic silly touches, like a mouse being blown away by the elephant’s snore, and anyone who has ever lain awake at night will recognize the wide, unblinking eyes on the animals at the end. The book also includes a link to download or stream a free copy of famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s performance of Erik Satie’s “Jungle Gymnopédie No. 1.” Perhaps even more delightful than the bouncy lullaby is Keith Boynton’s rich narration and Ma’s “animal snores” on cello, also freely available at the same link.

Another sweet Boynton bedtime read-aloud for the family bookshelf. (free audio download) (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5235-1360-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new...

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  • Newbery Medal Winner

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.

Living in a "domain" of glass, metal and cement at the Big Top Mall, Ivan sometimes forgets whether to act like a gorilla or a human—except Ivan does not think much of humans. He describes their behavior as frantic, whereas he is a peaceful artist. Fittingly, Ivan narrates his tale in short, image-rich sentences and acute, sometimes humorous, observations that are all the more heartbreaking for their simple delivery. His sorrow is palpable, but he stoically endures the cruelty of humans until Ruby the baby elephant is abused. In a pivotal scene, Ivan finally admits his domain is a cage, and rather than let Ruby live and die in grim circumstances, he promises to save her. In order to express his plea in a painting, Ivan must bravely face buried memories of the lush jungle, his family and their brutal murder, which is recounted in a brief, powerful chapter sure to arouse readers’ passions. In a compelling ending, the more challenging question Applegate poses is whether or not Ivan will remember what it was like to be a gorilla. Spot art captures poignant moments throughout.

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-199225-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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