Sure to be music to the ears of potty-training families.

THE POOP SONG

As the title indicates, a song about pooping in the potty.

Best known for writing several of the early Pete the Cat books, Litwin opens this picture book with the lines “CATS poop in their own little box. / MOUNTAIN GOATS poop as they climb over rocks.” Ensuing pages show other animals (and eventually dinosaurs and extraterrestrials) pooping, too, but the book’s main goal seems to be to use humor to inspire human children to do their business on the potty. As the refrain states in part, “But the BIG BOYS and BIG GIRLS are pooping in the potty. / And then we hear a happy sound. // FLUSH!” The text has a rhythmic, rhyming cadence that clearly lends itself to singing while accompanying childlike illustrations of smiling, defecating animals and children of differing skin colors enhance the humor of the text. Children should respond positively to the silly depictions of “SPACE MARTIANS poop[ing] by a faraway star” (space Martian dung is gray, evidently) and a picture of “Mr. Eric” (so indicated by a license plate) exclaiming “A little BLUEBIRD just pooped on my car.” While there’s no sheet music in the book, a note on the jacket flap prompts readers to find a recording of the song at the publisher’s website. Listeners will be treated to an upbeat tune, flushing sound effects, kids’ voices chiming in with Litwin’s, and perhaps just a few fartlike sounds for good measure.

Sure to be music to the ears of potty-training families. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7950-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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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

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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