With large, sturdy board pages just right for tiny hands, this is a sweet selection for baby’s bedtime.

KISS, KISS GOOD NIGHT

One by one, animal mothers tuck their babies into bed, easing them off to dreamland with snuggles and kisses.

Soothing rhythms and apt and varied vocabulary make this goodnight book special. Take, for example: “When cuddly cubs begin to doze, their mothers stroke them on the nose, / then grumble softly in their ear. / In Bear that means / ‘Good night, my dear.’ ” The adorable animal mothers and babies—bunnies, cats, lambs and chicks, in addition to the bears—look absolutely blissful as they cuddle up and settle in for some rest. These sweet scenes are set against a bluish-purple night sky dotted with white stars that twinkle merrily down on the sleeping critters. The final spread incorporates all of the animal families at once and offers a pleasing closing sentiment: “And with that nuzzle, kiss / or hug, the animals sleep, / warm and snug, / the way that babies always do / when mothers tell them, ‘I love you.’ ” While this title is perfect for mother-baby bonding, it doesn’t include any doting dads. Papas who want in on the action might try Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben’s Daddy Kisses (2003) or Karen Katz’s Daddy Hugs (2007).

With large, sturdy board pages just right for tiny hands, this is a sweet selection for baby’s bedtime. (Board book. 0-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-47957-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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