Kirwan’s style is energetic and enjoyable, and here’s hoping she can find more developmentally appropriate material.

BABY LOVES TO ROCK!

Various animals and one baby show off their musical talents.

With one sentence per page and puns that are a mix of the clever and the groan-worthy, the text shares the type of music each creature prefers: “The skunk loves punk. / The weasel likes to pop.” The spreads depict the critters engaging in music-related activities and sporting appropriate clothing, accessories and instruments. The highly saturated, slickly retro cartoons have a playful energy and truly pop against solid-color backgrounds with black panels at the bottom for the text. A double-page spread appears at three different intervals asking a variation of “But who really loves to rock?” in a graphic, bold type. On the last two pages, readers learn that “Baby loves to rock, rock, ROCK!” An exuberant infant with oversize eyes appears on a rocking horse, in a cradle and then finally “rocking out” on an electric guitar. While there are ingenious moments in the words and the visuals, all of it is going to go over the heads of babies and toddlers. This is one of those board books that is more for the grown-up readers than the children themselves.

Kirwan’s style is energetic and enjoyable, and here’s hoping she can find more developmentally appropriate material. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 29, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-5989-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies

DINOSAUR DANCE!

It's not the first time dinosaurs have been featured in a clever Boynton board book. It seems she—and we—can't get enough.

As her fans know, Boynton has a sly wit that respects the intelligence of her young fans and amuses the adults asked to “read it again.” In this book she introduces nine dinosaurs, each of which dances in a way that seems totally appropriate for that particular species. “The blue Stegosaurus goes SHIMMY SHIMMY SHAKE. / The red Brontosaurus goes QUIVERY QUAKE.” Drawing on her experience as a children’s musician, she writes a text that trips along like a song with rhymes that make sense but don't intrude. The illustrations, typical Boynton, reflect her greeting-card background. They are cartoonish but manage to capture the unique personality of each creature. The unnamed dinosaur narrator looks genuinely distraught at not being able to name the “tiny little dino” that “goes DEEDLY DEE.” Spoiler alert: the tiny little dinosaur is probably Compsognathus and would be about the size of a small chicken. Young dinophiles would be impressed if the dinosaurologists in their lives could supply that factoid, but alas, they will have to look it up.

This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8099-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside.

EIGHT JOLLY REINDEER

Readers can count down eight of Santa's reindeer as they jump up and out of the scene. 

In each one of the mostly double-page spreads, one reindeer, from Dasher to Blitzen, plays a central role in a winter activity (sledding, ski jumping, ice skating—and soccer and yoga?) that launches the creature into the air. Glitter-speckled tabs, each with small portraits of a member of Santa's herd, appear at either the top or the right side of each page, which little fingers will enjoy flipping. In what looks to be pencil-and-watercolor cartoons, Rogers uses different facial expressions, as well as collars, bows or other accessories, to distinguish the reindeer from one another. Donner (not Donder) and Blitzen are squeezed together on the penultimate spread, likely to keep the page count down. The verse mostly scans, but the rhyme scheme has become the cliché of counting books: "Eight jolly reindeer / stretching up to heaven. / Up goes Dasher / and then there are... // Seven...." Santa, his iconic sleigh and the eight reindeer in flight make a dramatic and required appearance on the book's final double-page spread. 

As with many holiday gifts, the sparkly packaging may interest toddlers more than what’s inside. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-65145-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more