Interactive elements make this delightfully playful.

LITTLE BUG ON THE MOVE

A board book with moving parts and an active little bug that transforms into a butterfly.

Though the protagonist is consistently called “the little bug” in Hardenberg’s translation from the French, it is depicted as a genial caterpillar. In a welcome change from traditional lift-the-flap books, its adventure features sliding and spinning pieces. Each with a die-cut hole for little fingers, these interactive manipulatives allow readers to make the little bug climb up a hill, twirl on a red flower, and, in one particularly clever move, jump off a branch and right outside the frame of the book. Each page asks a different question about the little bug’s actions—“Who is hiding in a mushroom?” for instance—and the movement helps readers answer. Eventually, the little bug disappears, replaced by a chrysalis. The final page then reveals a brightly colored pop-up butterfly—the little bug transformed. Babin’s text is straightforward and concise, because really, this one is all about the interaction on the page. Cosneau’s illustrations are similarly simple. The little bug’s segmented body is colorful, with pronounced antennae and big, cartoon eyes. The backgrounds are bright but not overly busy, and they include occasional fine details such as a tiny spider and a trail of ants. Little readers will no doubt enjoy the thrill of moving the little bug around the page, which is really both the focus and the highlight of this one.

Interactive elements make this delightfully playful. (Novelty board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-2-40802-464-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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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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