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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Another solid addition to the beloved series.

LLAMA LLAMA BACK TO SCHOOL

Summertime with all its pleasures is coming to an end, and school will soon begin again. What challenges will the new school year bring for Llama?

Told in a by-now-trademark rhyming verse style and accompanied by adorable, cheerful oil paint, colored pencil, and oil pastel illustrations, this story finds Llama taking pleasure in all the fun that summer brings—and hoping it will never be over. “Fishing, hiking, slip and slide. / Backyard camping, picnic time.” But as sure as one season follows another, fall is on its way and school will be starting again. Mamma Llama takes Llama shopping for new school supplies, but the expression on little Llama’s face makes it clear that preparing to return to school is anything but fun. Soon, the first day of school comes, and Llama is ready. There are so many rules: “Be on time. / Don’t push or shove. Stand in line. / Do not shout. Raise your hand.” “Lunch in cubbies. Coats on hooks.” But these are seasoned students, and they take it in stride. All except for one: A young rhino is new and feeling scared. Llama knows just what to do, sharing crayons and showing the newcomer how to glue. Soon the rhino is part of the gang. As is characteristic of the series, this is one more situation familiar to many a young child solved in sweet Llama style. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Another solid addition to the beloved series. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35244-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

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WITH ALL MY HEART

A caregiving bear shares with its cub how love has defined their relationship from the first moment and through the years as the cub has grown.

With rhymes and a steady rhythm that are less singsong-y than similar books, Stansbie seems to have hit a sweet spot for this offering on the I-love-you-always shelf. Readers follow the adult and child as they share special moments together—a sunset, a splash in a pond, climbing a tree, a snuggle—and the adult tells the child that the love it feels has only grown. Stansbie also takes care not to put promises in the adult bear’s mouth that can’t be delivered, acknowledging that physical proximity is not always possible: “Wherever you are, / even when we’re apart… // I’ll love you forever / with all of my heart.” The large trim size helps the sweet illustrations shine; their emphasis is on the close relationship between parent and child. Shaped peekaboo windows offer glimpses of preceding and succeeding pages, images and text carefully placed to work whatever the context. While the die cuts on the interior pages will not hold up to rough handling, they do add whimsy and delight to the book as a whole: “And now that you’re bigger, / you make my heart sing. / My / beautiful / wonderful / magical / thing.” Those last three adjectives are positioned in leaf-shaped cutouts, the turn of the page revealing the roly-poly cub in a pile of leaves, three formed by the die-cuts. Opposite, three vignettes show the cub appreciating the “beautiful,” the “wonderful,” and the “magical.”

Sweet. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68412-910-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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