A charming look at the lives of little ones, all fortunate to be cherished and cared for by loving adults.

BUSY BABIES

A brisk, rhyming text describes the actions of infants and toddling 1- and 2-year-olds, shown in daily activities with their parents, grandparents, and caregivers.

Clean, white backgrounds and a tall, vertically oriented trim accommodate some pages with two to four spot illustrations and a few with full-page views of the entrancing tykes in action. The children and adults include people of different ethnicities and several grandparents or caregivers with gray hair as well as dads and grandpas taking an active role with their little ones. Some children are still babes in arms or just sitting up, but most are walking (or running!) on their own and beginning to exert their independence. All sorts of activities are portrayed: eating and napping, visiting parks and an art museum, and typical toddler mischief such as emptying a wastebasket. The brief text repeats the titular phrase, followed by action phrases describing each activity, with a loose, pleasant rhyme scheme. The tiny tykes themselves have slightly oversized, round heads with teeny dots for eyes, and their adorable outfits include bright colors and patterns as well as one little one in a purple velveteen dress. The final page shows a toddler with a tricycle (but no helmet) and the concluding phrase, “Busy babies / Just like you!” Any child 2 or older will not want to be called a baby (though older siblings might be happy to), but that’s a small quibble in an otherwise captivating story.

A charming look at the lives of little ones, all fortunate to be cherished and cared for by loving adults. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4510-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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The soft cadence of the rhyming verses and the joyous pictures of the elephants will make this a bedtime favorite

THIS IS OUR BABY, BORN TODAY

When a baby elephant is born, “wrinkled and gray,” not just the herd, but the whole world rejoices, from morning to night.

From the proud Mama to the grand Aunts, from the “fertile and firm” Earth to the ancient Banyan tree, everyone and everything around the new baby elephant joins in celebration and care for the Baby “who warms the hearts of the world today.” Glowing with warm golds and greens and shadowed with deep blues and greens, the gorgeous artwork lushly illuminates the day of an elephant’s birth as it is cared for by its family and surroundings. The expressions on the elephant faces are sheer joy to behold; the elephant smiles are realistic and yet radiate affection. Seemingly simple, this gentle rhyming story works on two levels: the playfulness of the young elephant and its friends ensure that young children will be able to see themselves in the story, and given the depiction of the natural scenes, at least some young readers will become fascinated with the lives of elephants as well. An author’s note at the end provides background from the Indian-American author’s own life and also draws attention to the present-day need to protect elephants from poaching and the loss of habitat.

The soft cadence of the rhyming verses and the joyous pictures of the elephants will make this a bedtime favorite . (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-16684-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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