Enjoyable propaganda. (Board book. 1-2)


Baby Sam, a reluctant eater, finally takes a bite with the help of the spoon-as-airplane trick.

The book comes with a set of cardboard wings that adults can punch out of the back of the book and then fold around any adult-sized spoon to make it into an airplane. At the beginning of the book, Sam stubbornly sits with mouth shut tight in his high chair. Mom holds a wing-adorned spoon, promising, “These yummy green beans will make you big as an elephant!” Across the gutter, Sam’s father casts an elephant-shaped shadow on the wall. The pattern repeats with other foodstuffs and animals. When his parents have given up all hope, Sam proudly grabs the airplane spoon and shovels in a mound of grub. Burks’ retro cartoons in a muted color palette look hip, and the expressions of the various family members will be clear and accessible to little ones. While the cardboard-plane spoon is a very clever idea and it is relatively easy to construct, it will be difficult for toddlers to grasp on their own as depicted and will likely not survive very many repeat “landings” (the instructions recommend using the original as a pattern to trace and cut out a replacement). Since many parents may want to share this title at meal times, a sturdier, washable material would have been a better choice for this project.

Enjoyable propaganda. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: July 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-53368-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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As bright and bold as the holiday it celebrates.


An excited little one celebrates Easter.

The Easter Bunny is on its way, and Patricelli’s one-haired tot is thrilled. He prepares for the holiday by painting eggs and making bunny ears. On the big day, he excitedly looks for Easter eggs while his parents watch. The bold, rounded illustrations catch the eye, with a wide range of colors used throughout. The author pays a little lip service toward education by showing primary colors combining to create secondary colors, but the book's main focus is the exuberance that comes with celebrating the holiday, particularly when the traditions are so new and exciting. The enthusiasm is infectious, and read-alouds will most likely lead to little ones’ looking to do some arts and crafts of their very own.

As bright and bold as the holiday it celebrates. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6319-3

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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As warm and fuzzy as a loving bear family can be.


More than anything else, Little Bear likes playing with Mommy and Daddy.

As Little Bear stands among his toys sporting a cute red-and-white–striped shirt, readers learn that after playing with his toys, “he looks forward to playing with Mommy and Daddy… / …and Mommy and Daddy can’t wait to play with him!” And play they do. Daddy tickles his tummy, “picks him up high and lands him like a plane,” and comforts him when he’s upset. Mommy rubs his nose with hers. And Mommy and Daddy pass Little Bear between them like a ball. The action is helped along by appropriately placed, sturdy die cuts, gatefolds, and flaps. A half-page flap is used to show Little Bear going back and forth between Mommy and Daddy; a gatefold opens up to show that Daddy has just landed a joyful Little Bear. The members of Tharlet’s anthropomorphic bear family have warm, expressive faces, mostly white backgrounds keeping the focus centered on the characters. In this sweet book even Little Bear’s toys sport smiles. Young readers will easily recognize the simple interactions from their own families’ expressions of affection, and they’ll enjoy poking little fingers through the round die cuts.

As warm and fuzzy as a loving bear family can be. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-988-8341-97-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Minedition

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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