The well-paced conventionality of this one makes it a pleasant bedtime read.

SLEEPY FARM

A LIFT-THE-FLAP BOOK

Each animal in this board book goes to bed with a lift of a flap.

Wan’s distinct, boldly outlined illustrations show each farm animal going to bed. The animals are tucked in with a simple rhyming couplet (“Off to sleep, / little sheep”), and the turn of the flap shows the animal, eyes closed and blanket pulled up, with their animal sound (“BAA”). The opening spread depicts all of the animals, eyes heavy, the moon and stars with sweet faces shining above them. In the pages that follow, there are darling details found in the background and on the animals’ blankets. There are buzzing dragonflies flying in heart patterns behind the frog, for example, and lily pads on its covers. After they’ve worked out some initial stiffness, little readers will enjoy pulling down the flap that transforms the animal’s face into its sleeping version tucked into bed. This say-goodnight-to-the animals concept has certainly been done before, and while Wan doesn’t usher in a new age of bedtime book, this does work as a well-paced, familiar outing, comforting to little ones and caregivers alike. It’s this familiarity that makes the book a suitable choice for winding down before bed, the ever hopeful line, “Ready to sleep / the whole night through,” echoing loudly in all caregivers’ ears.

The well-paced conventionality of this one makes it a pleasant bedtime read. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-33871-3

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A bright and friendly but no more than serviceable board book.

MY FIRST PEEK-A-BOO ANIMALS

From the World of Eric Carle series

Little readers play peekaboo with animals.

Carle’s iconic illustrations form the centerpiece of this simple lift-the-flap board book. Each double-page spread features an animal obscured by a flap (a solid block of trademark, textured Carle color) on one side and a four-line abcb stanza describing the animal on the opposite page. Readers are given hints about the hidden creature before they play peekaboo and lift the flap to reveal a monkey, horse, turtle, and more. “I’m a big cat, / but I don’t purr. / I’ve got black stripes / and bright orange fur.” Although most of the facts offered are scientifically valid, the ambiguously worded modifier for the monkey’s clue—“With my long tail, / I swing in the trees”—risks imparting the misinformation that monkeys suspend themselves from their tails. Carle’s illustrations are as recognizable to little readers as the characters on Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and the familiarity breeds appreciation. There’s nothing truly special or distinctive regarding the mechanics of this particular title, but the familiar look acts as a comfort food–esque motivation to get little ones’ attention.

A bright and friendly but no more than serviceable board book. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0105-1

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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LLAMA LLAMA TRICK OR TREAT

From the Llama Llama series

In this board book designed for the littlest llama lovers, adorable-as-ever Llama Llama (Llama Llama Red Pajama, 2005, etc.) gets ready for some Halloween fun.

Dewdney’s characteristic spare, apt rhymes convey a lot of action in effortlessly readable fashion. A charming and simple introduction to Halloween and its associated activities, this title finds little Llama Llama choosing and carving a pumpkin, pouring candy into bowls, picking out a costume and, finally, trick-or-treating. The costume Llama Llama decides to don—pointy teeth and a black mask and cape—is enough to frighten and fool his friends but not readers, who will immediately recognize and smile at the silly little mini-Dracula. With Dewdney’s characters as expressive as ever, young readers will be drawn right into the holiday fun, eagerly anticipating which costume Llama Llama will choose and excited to see him scare his friends and score some candy at trick-or-treat. In the equally appealing companion title, Llama Llama Jingle Bells,the little fellow gets ready for Christmas, baking and decorating some cookies in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. This simple holiday title will win Llama Llama new fans, and old friends will want to add it and its companion to their collections. (Board book. 1-2)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-0451469786

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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