Will work best for adults seeking a guide to use with young children.

ANIMAL ANTICS / JUEGOS DE ANIMALES

This bilingual book presents a series of mindfulness exercises to help young children focus and transition from one activity to another.

While pretending to be elephants, frogs, and cats, children engage in mindfulness practices such as bending, hopping, and stretching that help them wiggle their waggles away, ending with “Now it’s time to be ourselves. / … / We are ready for what’s next!” and “Y ahora seamos nosotros mismos. /… / ¡Estamos listos para lo que sigue!” Spanish speakers may find one quibble in Perez’s otherwise flawless translation of the English text into Spanish: The verb “to swing” is arguably better translated as “mecer” rather than “balancear.” The book is also available as an English-only text. Companion volume Rest & Relax / Descansa y relájate is similar in presentation and is also published in an English-only edition. Here, children prepare for sleep as they are led through guided visualization to relax their bodies, starting with their toes, followed by their knees, tummies, hands, arms, shoulders, until they eventually close their eyes. The kid-friendly artwork, featuring a group of children diverse in both skin tone and physical abilities (one has a guide dog), is more decorative than informative, and it is really the text that informs what the actions to be taken should be.

Will work best for adults seeking a guide to use with young children. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-78285-983-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Exciting artwork paired with disappointingly dull text.

KINDNESS GROWS

Rhyming verses about kindness using a consistent metaphor of widening cracks versus blooming plants are amplified by cutouts on each page.

The art and layout are spectacular, from the cover through the double-page spreads near the end. Racially diverse toddlers are shown engaging in various moods and behaviors, some of which create unhappiness and some of which lead to friendship and happiness. Every page’s color palette and composition perfectly complement the narrative. The initial verso shows two children in aggressive stances, backgrounded by a dark, partly moonlit sky. Between them is a slender, crooked cutout. The large-type text reads: “It all / starts / with a / crack / that we can hardly see. / It happens when we shout / or if we disagree.” The recto shows two children in sunlight, with one offering a pretty leaf to the other, and the rhyme addresses the good that grows from kindness. In this image, the crooked die cut forms the trunk of a tiny sapling. Until the final double-page spreads, the art follows this clever setup: dark deeds and a crack on the left, and good deeds and a growing tree on the right. Unfortunately, the text is far from the equal of the art: It is banal and preachy, and it does not even scan well without some effort on the part of whomever is reading it. Still, the youngest children will solemnly agree with the do’s and don’ts, and they may decide to memorize a page or two.

Exciting artwork paired with disappointingly dull text. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-229-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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