Expect gleeful chortles from budding atom-smashers and collision-safety experts.

BADABOOM BADABUMP!

A trip to visit Zebra turns into a game of colliding creatures in this French book-and-toy import.

Young readers can play along, as the episode comes packaged in a slipcase box with eight thick, rounded, particle-board animal figures. Gorilla, who’s “bored, bored, bored,” decides to visit Zebra for a round of the titular diversion and is joined along the way by Elephant, Lion, Giraffe, and Rhino—the last offering a willing Crocodile to ferry everyone across the wide river. Unfortunately, in midriver the travelers (literally) run into Hippo. “BADABOOM / BADATHUMP!” All end up in a heap in front of Zebra…who thinks that game looks like even more fun than Badaboom Badabump. Deneux cheats a little, stretching Crocodile out in the illustration so that all the animals line up neatly on its back at once, which is not possible with the accompanying toys. Still, along with offering a basic lesson in Newtonian principles, the challenge of finding a way to stack the animals in a stable formation followed by the gratification of ramming them into Hippo and seeing them fly makes a pleasing experience for anyone who likes to bang things together.

Expect gleeful chortles from budding atom-smashers and collision-safety experts. (Board book/novelty. 1.5-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 979-1-02760-706-8

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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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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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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