A playful, pull-the-tab potty-training book that’s reassuring, too.

POTTY TIME!

From the Pull and Play series

Storytime meets potty time in this board book with movable parts.

This French import features a different pair of anthropomorphic animals on each spread. One is a parent (Mommy or Daddy) and the other a child of the same species who is learning to use the potty. Instead of letting page turns show each child’s experience, a tab pulls out on each recto to reveal a changed scene. For example, at first Little Crocodile is not ready to try to use the potty, and Daddy doesn’t rush him, but he makes sure Little Crocodile knows that the potty is ready when he is. Then pull the tab, and Little Crocodile is happily sitting on the potty, with his teddy nearby on another one. Subsequent pages show other animal children who: wear underwear instead of diapers; have an accident; don’t need to go; and need help with their clothes. Peeing and pooping on the potty are both addressed, too. The book concludes with all of the animals getting ready for a nap. The line “A clean diaper, a teddy, a kiss, and it’s off to bed!” provides reassurance that learning to use the potty is a process that happens over time. The big-eyed, rounded characters in the pictures reinforce the text’s gentle, encouraging tone, and uncluttered backgrounds allow focus to remain on the characters.

A playful, pull-the-tab potty-training book that’s reassuring, too. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-2-74599-547-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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

THE ABCS OF LOVE

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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Ideal for parents, whether going it alone or together, and for the babies and toddlers they love.

LEO LOVES DADDY

A fun-loving daddy’s dedication is apparent in this slice-of-life board book.

Leo, a brown-skinned boy with tight curls, full lips, and a broad nose, delights in playing with Daddy, who has equally clearly Black features. Leo wakes up to Daddy tickling his tummy. Then this superinvolved father fixes pancakes, dances, takes Leo on a bike ride, and tends to Leo’s scraped knee. Together they build with blocks, take a bath, and snuggle with a book before bed. Companion title Leo Loves Mommy follows a similar trajectory through the day. Leo builds a blanket fort with couch cushions, practices yoga, and paints with his mother, who also presents Black. After a bike ride, mommy’s lunch “is so flashy”: celery and carrot sticks turned into edible critters with fruit and nuts. The loving devotion of both parents is tangible and genuine, sweet but not cloying. Simple two-line sentences with unobtrusive rhymes across spreads provide descriptions of the activities and add vocabulary. Each spread illustrates one event against a clear solid color background, free of distracting decoration. Together they complete a full picture of a busy toddler’s day and his loving relationship with each parent.

Ideal for parents, whether going it alone or together, and for the babies and toddlers they love. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62354-241-2

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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