These age-appropriate, everyday dramas will promote effective problem-solving.


From the Pull and Play series

In this French import, toddler animals are encouraged gently to rethink pacifier use in various settings and situations.

A crocodile parent suggests to their hatchling to leave the pacifier at home so it doesn’t get lost; a kitten learns her speech isn’t clear with the pacifier in her mouth; and a bear cub intent on playtime is ready to throw away the pacifier. These episodes are presented in a combination of simple narration and dialogue between children and parents (there are no other caregiving relationships depicted) who seem to have read all the child-rearing books. A panel on the recto is split in two, and a tab slides out to model the before and after of the child relinquishing the pacifier, with some positive reinforcement at the bottom of the page. The sturdy tabs can be a little stiff, and caregivers may need to assist little ones with pulling. The similar title Sharing follows the same formula and format to demonstrate best-case scenarios around sharing. While these tear-free storylines may be unrealistic, caregivers will appreciate the constructive approaches modeled. Bedouet presents cartoon animals with rounded lines against solid backgrounds; there are no sharp edges in either the narratives or the art. In both titles, families represented are crocodiles, kangaroos, monkeys, bears, and cats.

These age-appropriate, everyday dramas will promote effective problem-solving. (Novelty board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-2-40802-461-1

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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An unabashed love letter from mother.


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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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.


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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