Silly, sweet and simple, this counting primer is a great choice for solo exploration or group sharing in a doggy-themed...


Parr brings his signature, toddler-friendly style to two of kids’ favorite things: counting and puppies.

This simple counting book written in rhyme features 10 different displays of doggy devotion. Take, for example: “One silly doggy kiss / on the head. // Two cuddly doggy kisses / when in bed.” A short snatch of text and a large numeral appear on the left-hand page with a complementary illustration on the right. The chunky black lines that outline the drawings and numerals make each element pop out dramatically against the solid backgrounds of vibrant hues —often yellow, red and bright blue. The illustrations are composed of simple, childlike renderings of widely smiling children and puckering pups of all shapes, sizes and colors. The final spread provides a nice opportunity for review, showcasing as it does the numerals 1 through 10 accompanied by their adorable doggies and a brief description of their kisses. The rhyming verses don’t exactly trip off the tongue, but kids aren’t likely to mind, focused as they’ll be on counting the pooches’ smooches. Sturdy, glossy pages will stand up to multiple readings—and a fair amount of slobber.

Silly, sweet and simple, this counting primer is a great choice for solo exploration or group sharing in a doggy-themed storytime. (Board book. 0-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-316-20737-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: LB Kids/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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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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The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers.


Animal parents declare their love for their offspring through rhymed puns and sentimental art.

The title sets the scene for what’s to come: The owl asks the owlet as they fly together, “WHOO loves you?”; the kangaroo and joey make each other “very HOPPY”; and the lioness and cub are a “PURRRFECT pair.” Most of the puns are both unimaginative and groanworthy, and they are likely to go over the heads of toddlers, who are not know for their wordplay abilities. The text is set in abcb quatrains split over two double-page spreads. On each spread, one couplet appears on the verso within a lightly decorated border on pastel pages. On the recto, a full-bleed portrait of the animal and baby appears in softly colored and cozy images. Hearts are prominent on every page, floating between the parent and baby as if it is necessary to show the love between each pair. Although these critters are depicted in mistily conceived natural habitats and are unclothed, they are human stand-ins through and through.

The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers. (Board book. 6 mos-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1374-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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