With bedtime-story shelves bursting, this is one that can be set aside.

PUTTING THE MONKEYS TO BED

Those monkeys just don’t want to sleep!

Snuggled in bed with his three stuffed monkeys, Sam asks his mother if he would have to go to sleep if he were a monkey. In answer, she tucks him in after reading him his favorite book—but once she leaves, his stuffed monkeys come to life and want to jump around. “They smash and bash and crash-crash-crash until all balls have been bounced and all trains have been trounced.” Mama warns him to get back in bed, and he does, but his mind teems with questions: “Do fish go to bed in their bathing suits?” Mama says she’ll answer his questions in the morning. He tries his breathing exercises, but the monkeys turn it into a “ping-pong song” and “the French ding-dong song.” Mind and monkeys still working overtime, Sam tricks the lively stuffed animals into listening to his book, and they all drift off. Choldenko’s tale of bedtime bounciness reads like something a parent might make up on the spur of the moment to quiet a restless child. Imaginative, restless tots might recognize themselves in Sam, but their imaginations are probably a bit more original and outlandish than his. Even Davis’ frenetic and funny watercolors can’t mitigate the story’s extemporaneous feel.

With bedtime-story shelves bursting, this is one that can be set aside. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-24623-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers.

COLOR DOG

A chunky board book about colors features photographs of dogs and incorporates many interactive elements.

Even the front cover of this title is interactive. Pull a large red tab, and a bulldog’s head moves back and forth as he chews on the shoelace of a red tennis shoe. Inside, further interactive features, rhyming text, and illustrations featuring cute pups and their adorable antics await. For example, the orange pages offer a collage of pumpkins, autumn foliage, puppies, and a cat, reading: “Orange the patch of pumpkins, / Orange the autumn leaves, / Orange the frumpy, napping cat… / that I chase up a tree.” One of the pumpkins is a flap that conceals the face of a precious pup, and another, larger flap hides a pop-up tree branch on which an orange kitty perches. Other pages incorporate some more noxious surprises, such as: “Green the swamp I love to swim in, / Green the summer grass, / Green the color of the air… / when my dog food gives me gas.” Pull the tab here to trigger a large green cloud that emanates from the back end of a suitably embarrassed-looking basset hound.

This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4986-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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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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