An absolute zoo of an ABC book—in the best possible way.

EEK!

A NOISY JOURNEY FROM A TO Z

Animals run amok from A to Z in this noisy alphabet book.

A mouse in tweed trousers plucks a flower and carries it away. But allergies kick in, and the mouse’s “achoo” scares away the bee that had been resting between the flower’s petals. As the bee flies off with a “bzzz,” a red bird gives out a “chirp,” and a nearby cat’s bell goes “ding-a-ling.” Just when the mouse turns to look, the cat’s paw reaches over the gutter: “Eeek!” Lucky for the mouse, a black dog take hold of the cat’s tail first. The cat flips over with a shocking “fwump.” The dog lets out a playful “grrr,” clearly aiming for some fun. The mouse’s story—and sounds associated with the rest of the alphabet—continues as more animal characters enter the action. But where is the mouse going? Will they ever make it there? Using only 26 onomatopoeic sounds and picture cues, this clever take on the alphabet book lets readers fill in the story on their own. Though hints on the recto pages signal what might happen next, each double-page spread contains a surprise—including the constantly changing background colors. Paschkis’ folk-art–inspired illustrations, filled with movement, pattern, and color, practically leap off the page. The endpapers depict each of the letters in no particular order, with enough space between them that readers can practice letter knowledge.

An absolute zoo of an ABC book—in the best possible way. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-169-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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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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