Sure to please both young children and the adults who read to them.

SILLY LULLABY

This lullaby will send children to sleep in fits of giggles.

After their child puts a pair of red pajamas on their body and a stuffed duck on their head, an adult caregiver declares that it is finally time to go to sleep. The sleepy child climbs into the grown-up’s lap, settling in for what readers are led to believe will be a cozy, traditional lullaby. Instead, the caregiver sings a song rife with non-sequiturs and nonsense words such as “fibblety-fisty foo” and “zoodle.” As the song continues, the lyrics become increasingly ridiculous, referencing chickens in the bathtub, sheep in the closet, and sneakers in the freezer. Despite the nonsensical words, the lullaby lulls the child to sleep, and the adult—who now wears the stuffed duck on their head—lovingly tucks their dear “zoodle” in for a restful night. With this effort Boynton (I Love You, Little Pookie, 2018, etc.) is at her absurdist best. The illustrations, which feature her characteristic ink lines and bold blocks of color, are filled with hilarious details ranging from the demeanor of a somberly mooing owl to the wide-eyed puzzlement written across the child’s face upon hearing the lullaby’s opening lines. The rhyming text is delightful to read aloud, and the musical score incorporated into the illustrations allows parents who can read music to sing the lullaby to an actual tune.

Sure to please both young children and the adults who read to them. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5282-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers.

I LOVE YOU LIKE NO OTTER

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring through rhymed puns and sentimental art.

The title sets the scene for what’s to come: The owl asks the owlet as they fly together, “WHOO loves you?”; the kangaroo and joey make each other “very HOPPY”; and the lioness and cub are a “PURRRFECT pair.” Most of the puns are both unimaginative and groanworthy, and they are likely to go over the heads of toddlers, who are not know for their wordplay abilities. The text is set in abcb quatrains split over two double-page spreads. On each spread, one couplet appears on the verso within a lightly decorated border on pastel pages. On the recto, a full-bleed portrait of the animal and baby appears in softly colored and cozy images. Hearts are prominent on every page, floating between the parent and baby as if it is necessary to show the love between each pair. Although these critters are depicted in mistily conceived natural habitats and are unclothed, they are human stand-ins through and through.

The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers. (Board book. 6 mos-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1374-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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