A splash! (Picture book. 2-4)

1, 2, 3, JUMP!

Playful encouragement for new swimmers.

The text’s second-person address to the unnamed protagonist (a child who’s nervous about starting swim lessons) instructs: “The first thing you need to do is put on your suit.” An accompanying illustration shows the pigtailed tot in a suit and tie with a top hat and loafers. “No, not that type of suit. A swimsuit, silly!” comes the clarification. Once the child has changed into a red, girl’s swimsuit, the text follows as the protagonist nervously listens to the swim teacher’s instructions. The other children in the class don’t share the protagonist’s worries, and they happily follow directions while the protagonist hangs back, too scared even to dip a toe in the pool or to blow bubbles, let alone jump into the water. Words and pictures humorously play with meaning, as when the child blows soap bubbles with a wand rather than getting in the pool to blow bubbles in the water. Throughout, the cartoon illustrations amplify the humor, and translucent washes evoke the watery pool setting. By the book’s end, and after lots of patient encouragement, the protagonist is ready to “1…2…3… / JUMP!” into the water, where all the students get to try out flippers as they swim around together. The protagonist appears white, with long, brown hair; the teacher appears black, and the other three children at the lesson have varied skin tones, with two appearing to be children of color.

A splash! (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-681-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...


A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Purchase for some temporary interactive Halloween fun.


From the My Magical Friends series

Four green-faced witches fly through this durable board book looking for Halloween fun.

A turn of the notched wheel embedded in the cover page changes the sparkly stripes on a witch’s hat, cape, and broom. Three more witches join the fun inside. Though not identified by gender, all wear dresses. All the interactive elements are focused on the first witch, who wears fluffy orange hair in two pigtails. One slider simultaneously lifts a broom and plops a straight hat on top of that hair. Another slides the witch across the night sky. A second wheel shows the ingredients being added to a cauldron. A final slider magically produces three black cats. Two lines of (uncredited) rhyming text on each of the four double-page spreads hint at what the interactive element will reveal. While the text is conveniently placed in the same spot on each spread, the vocabulary is peppered with reach words for the toddler audience: “Off they swooped on whizzing brooms, / heading for the potions room.” Mice, pumpkins, spiderwebs, owls, brooms, bats, and other thematically appropriate objects and creatures scattered across the busy pages place the book firmly in the Halloween genre. Unnamed and primarily decorative, these seemingly arbitrary additions distract from the slight story thread. Toddlers will readily manipulate the five smoothly performing interactive elements; unfortunately, the text and pictures are not equally enticing.

Purchase for some temporary interactive Halloween fun. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4463-1

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet