<p>Perfectly fine but nothing new.</p>

SOMEBUNNY LOVES YOU

From the Punderland series

Caregiver-child love abounds in this rhyming board book full of animal puns.

One thing’s for certain, there’s plenty of sweet (and groanworthy) sentiments in this book. Rossner writes, “Giving HOGS and kisses / sends me to the moon!” and, “I’m such a lucky DUCK. / You really QUACK me up!” The book progresses entirely in this fashion, with a new animal pair and pun with each page turn. It reads well as a book for a caregiver to share with a lap-sitting child. On that mark, it succeeds in providing plenty of opportunities for giggles and snuggles. That said, at times the meter is forced, making the cadence a bit stilted, and the cuddles/bubbles rhyme is a dubious one. This is an issue for a book that will almost solely be read aloud. Gibson’s illustrations are very charming; the animals and insects with big eyes and expressive faces have high appeal. The warmth of the animals’ embraces and cuddles translates well from the page, inviting the same snuggles from readers. Decorated eggs appear on each page, and the bunny pair from the cover features prominently. Overall, the concept and message of the book are high interest and age-appropriate, but it doesn’t stand out from the very crowded shelf of “I love you, little one!” books similar to it.

<p>Perfectly fine but nothing new.</p> (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2343-8

Page Count: 25

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

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TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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Hee haw.

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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