From the Made With Love series

This short, sweet, and silly Thanksgiving puppet book is no turkey.

Despite a title suggestive of a treatise on unrepentant cannibalism, this book should prove a read-aloud delight for caregivers and toddlers alike. Seemingly indestructible, it features plush turkey feathers that extend from the top of the book to adorn the turkey depicted on the cover and on each succeeding two-page set piece. The message is simple: “If kisses were gobbles, I’d gobble you up! // I’d gobble your nose… // and your cute little toes.” The brief text includes only two additional sentences, with a total of five additional “gobbles.” “Gobbles” may be read aloud, turkey-style, or while miming munching of the relevant extremities; either way, much giggling should ensue. Author/illustrator Magsamen’s artwork is done in faux-needlecraft style, as though assembled from pieces of felt stitched to the backgrounds, and embellished by copious hearts. The two turkey protagonists are rendered with a nonrealistic, cartoonish simplicity, with blank expressions that nonetheless imply affection, curiosity, and playfulness. They’d look right at home in a Thanksgiving episode of South Park. Varied compositions, with turkey No. 2 in the foreground or on a distant barn roof, or turkey No. 1 standing on grass, then on a fence, and then backside toward readers, create an impressive sense of action while keeping turkey No. 1 firmly attached to its feathers.

Delightfully delicious. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-11092-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Little Blue Truck keeps on truckin’—but not without some backfires.


Little Blue Truck feels, well, blue when he delivers valentine after valentine but receives nary a one.

His bed overflowing with cards, Blue sets out to deliver a yellow card with purple polka dots and a shiny purple heart to Hen, one with a shiny fuchsia heart to Pig, a big, shiny, red heart-shaped card to Horse, and so on. With each delivery there is an exchange of Beeps from Blue and the appropriate animal sounds from his friends, Blue’s Beeps always set in blue and the animal’s vocalization in a color that matches the card it receives. But as Blue heads home, his deliveries complete, his headlight eyes are sad and his front bumper droops ever so slightly. Blue is therefore surprised (but readers may not be) when he pulls into his garage to be greeted by all his friends with a shiny blue valentine just for him. In this, Blue’s seventh outing, it’s not just the sturdy protagonist that seems to be wilting. Schertle’s verse, usually reliable, stumbles more than once; stanzas such as “But Valentine’s Day / didn’t seem much fun / when he didn’t get cards / from anyone” will cause hitches during read-alouds. The illustrations, done by Joseph in the style of original series collaborator Jill McElmurry, are pleasant enough, but his compositions often feel stiff and forced.

Little Blue Truck keeps on truckin’—but not without some backfires. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-358-27244-1

Page Count: 20

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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An unabashed love letter from mother.


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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