WHOSE SHOES?

With exuberant rhymes and clever illustrations, this lively guessing game taps into children’s love of shoes and dress-up play. Bouncy verses describe the various types of shoes a little girl wears and onomatopoetic verses and the accompanying illustrations provide readers with clues for the correct answers. Hines’s (Pieces, 2001, etc.) verses beg to be read with a suitable theatrical flourish for maximum effect: “When I wear these / clappy high-heeled shoes, / tippy shoes, slippy shoes . . . / I go / clop, clip, clap!” Readers can lift the flap of the gatefolds to reveal the answer to the title’s question. From father’s “clompy” footwear to the baby’s booties, everyone’s shoes are put on for a twirl, until the narrator finds the “snappy just-right shoes” that are her own. The pen-and-ink watercolors have a winsome, old-fashioned feel to them. The protagonist is an impish young female mouse who irreverently invades her brother’s box of comic books clearly marked “Don’t Touch” and happily dresses up as mom and dad. Wonderfully wry touches fill the illustrations with humor: father’s tie has a Swiss cheese motif, a spool with two needles and some intertwined thread forms the family-room chair, brother’s bed is (what else?) an old box for matches with match-stick posts, and more. A merry read-aloud romp. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-15-201773-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

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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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An adventurous treat of a bedtime story.

BEDTIME FOR SWEET CREATURES

A patient mother with a healthy sense of whimsy helps prepare her headstrong toddler for bed.

The story opens with a toddler, fists raised into the air, proclaiming, “No! No! No!” Thank goodness this not-at-the-moment-sweet creature’s mother is patient and creative as she corrals her child into a bedtime routine that may feel familiar to many readers. The words and behaviors of the child evading bed are translated into animal sounds and behaviors: wide-eyed and asking “Who? Who?” like an owl; shaking hair and roaring like a lion; hanging on for a hug like a koala. And, of course, the requisite leaving bed for a last trip to the bathroom and drink, like a human child. Zunon’s art takes this book to the next level: Her portrayals of the animals mentioned in the text are colorful and full of intriguing patterns and shapes. Additionally, the expressions on the faces of the mother, child, and animals speak volumes, portraying the emotions of each. Arguably, the sweetest part of the story comes at the end, when the child asks to sleep with Mommy and Dad. Though the mother sighs, the child climbs in, along with “owl, bear, snake, kitty, fawn, squirrel, koala, tiger, wolf.” (Readers attuned to details will notice the father’s look of delight at the parade of animals.) All characters are Black.

An adventurous treat of a bedtime story. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3832-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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