There are lessons here to be sure, but it is a warm family story most of all.

A BRAVE BEAR

A tiny cub tries a very big leap but learns that growing up comes with some bumps along the way.

The sun burns orange in the sky. Short, staccato sentences (“The sun was hot. The air was hot. Even the shade was hot”) emphasize the oppressive heat. The bear cub’s father—who edges toward hyperbole—declares: “I think a pair of hot bears is probably the hottest thing in the world.” So he and his cub, who narrates the adventure, travel to the river to cool down. On the way, they jump from rock to rock. The little cub takes a cue from Dad to proclaim, “I think a jumping bear is probably the jumpiest thing in the world!” However, when the cub takes an extra-big leap, a slip on landing results in a banged knee. Dad offers to carry the cub the rest of the way, but after a bit of sulking and contemplation the little cub decides to (quite literally) pick itself up and continue. Hughes’ detailed pencil illustrations show incredible texture, from the sweeping strokes of the bears’ fur to the gnarled trees and brushy forest. Earthy tones of browns and greens fade into the pulsating yellow and orange sky.

There are lessons here to be sure, but it is a warm family story most of all. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8224-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.

NOISY TRACTOR

From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more