With this masterful board book, little listeners are in for some smooth sailing.

LITTLE BOAT

Intrepid Little Boat encounters pint-sized obstacles before returning safely to his family.

Here’s an author who understands how much bravery it takes to be little in a big world. Little Boat floats through mild perils that will feel quite familiar to most toddlers: a crowded shipping lane where he fears being bumped, a frightening run-in with a much bigger freighter, concern about a scary storm, and loneliness. Little Boat’s anxiety is apparent, as he’s pictured teeny-tiny against the waves, but the clouds are so sweet-faced and the waters so gently rolling that it’s clear there’s no real danger. After he successfully navigates the challenges, Little Boat’s parents congratulate him on his brave solo expedition, and toddlers will similarly bask in his feeling of accomplishment. Although the small ship is ostensibly on his journey alone, he’s gently advised and reassured by a narrator who makes sure everyone, including the audience, knows that “Little Boat is fine!” The spare art is expressive in its simplicity, with ships made of basic shapes, rustically outlined and perfectly personified with paint-dabbed faces, all set against a tonally pleasing palette of blue, teal, and rose. Our hero’s white hull, jaunty triangular flag, and blush-pink–dotted cheek are both easily spotted and eminently charming.

With this masterful board book, little listeners are in for some smooth sailing. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4521-6301-7

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for...

HELLO LAMB

This simple board book invites little ones to greet baby farm animals (including frog, bunny, and bee) with their corresponding sounds.

The first double-page spread greets readers with a bright yellow smiling sun and the text “Hello, Sun. / Hello, Day. / Wake up, babies. / Time to play!” Each succeeding spread has a distinct, gently patterned background, with very brief text on the verso (“Hello Puppy! / Woof Woof”). Filling up the recto is a vibrant illustration of the baby animal’s face, wide eyed and smiling, outlined in black. The final spread presents the face of a cute baby with chalky brown-gray skin, bright black eyes, and short black hair: “Goo Goo.” Babies and toddlers will enjoy looking at the baby faces, animals and human, and repeating the sounds. A companion book, Goodnight Bear, has a similar pattern of text and illustrations, though the palette is suitably darker. The moon, surprisingly, has its eyes shut, and succeeding spreads depict an owlet, a baby bat, a baby hedgehog, and other familiar nocturnal baby animals, all wide-awake and smiling. The final spread depicts a cute baby with pale skin, blond hair, and closed eyes.

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for the target audience. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0430-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more