Only somewhat successful in its cautionary aim.

DO TOUCH! DON'T TOUCH!

There's a lot for this toddler to explore, and some of it is dangerous.

A boy explains about some of the items that are off-limits within his home, telling readers what they can and cannot touch. The child even directs his cat to make appropriate choices. When the cat rifles through the garbage can, the little boy admonishes the feline with a stern command (“The garbage is icky! / Don't touch, kitty!”). Unfortunately, he sometimes uses cutesy language; the electrical outlet is “too sparky.” There are a few things that are safe to touch—yarn, kitty—but there's no instruction about the proper way to approach an animal. One alarming spread presents multiple items with shrieking admonitions; the cat's fur bristles in alarm as it regards such varied items as a fan and a pair of scissors. The final scene depicts the youngster reviewing this book's companion title (Uh-Oh! Oh No!), surrounded by his toys. “Do touch. / Have fun!” Quiet pastels, saturated in lemony yellow, keep spreads in a nursery-inspired palette. Uh-Oh! Oh No! stars the same barefoot toddler in an extreme rapid-fire chain of events sparked by a sippy cup dropped from his high chair.

Only somewhat successful in its cautionary aim. (Board book. 9 mos.-2)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58925-867-9

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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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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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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