Charming illustrations with a simple story that resonates.

ON BABA'S BACK

Koalas Koko and Baba are always together until one day Koko ventures off alone.

Much like their human child-caregiver counterparts, little Koko is always with Baba. Koko does everything—playing, bathing, even (“Oops!”) peeing—on Baba’s back, until one day, curiously eyeing some butterflies, Koko jumps off and adventures solo. Dubuc is careful to convey that the exploration is successful and also that Koko climbs right back on Baba’s back when bedtime comes. This boomerang of child independence and caregiver dependence is simply and sweetly done. Koko’s moment of joy at the freedom to explore is captured with rosy cheeks and open arms, Baba’s pride drawn to match. Caregivers will smile at all of Koko’s childlike characteristics, from the “play” that results in a ball bouncing off Baba’s head to Koko’s repeatedly nagging “There!” at the sight of the butterflies. The repetitive nature of the sentence structure makes it a perfect fit for lap reading with an infant or toddler. There are no gendered pronouns for either character. The pencil-and-watercolor illustrations give the koalas and their habitat a soft, inviting look—a fitting complement to the story. This sweet board book is sure to provide readers and little listeners with two separate yet connected takeaways.

Charming illustrations with a simple story that resonates. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-61689-912-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Not a great choice for the youngest dinosaur lovers.

I LOVE YOU MORE, BABYSAUR

From the Punderland series

A board-book ode to parental love as old as the dinosaurs.

A line of text on the left of each spread reads like a dinosaur-themed valentine that a third grader might choose, with punishingly punny wordplay that incorporates dinosaur-related words. On the facing page a dinosaur pair—a baby and an adult—gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes against whimsical, pastel-hued prehistoric-ish backgrounds. In smaller print, in all caps, at the bottom of the left page is the scientific name for the dinosaur referenced by the text and picture followed by a helpful phonetic pronunciation guide. White-outlined footprints appear next to their names, though the white is sometimes difficult to see against the pastel pages. Ten of the best-known dinosaurs are included. Twisting the dinosaur names to fit the loving sentiments succeeds some of the time but more often results in tortured text, well beyond the understanding of the board book audience. The line accompanying two hugging velociraptors, for instance, is just confusing: “Wrap-TOR arms around me, / with you I’ll always stay.” Others are just plain clumsy: “I-wanna-GUANODON you kisses, / I truly just adore you.” Very young children, even those fascinated by dinosaurs, will not get it. Older dinosaur fans will be put off by the babyish format.

Not a great choice for the youngest dinosaur lovers. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2295-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more