These chicks are an adorable brood. Here’s hoping Flora and an array of beasties will be appearing in the flaps of more...

FLORA AND THE CHICKS

A COUNTING BOOK

Flora, the animal-loving star of a wordless trio of picture books, makes her board-book debut by counting chicks as they hatch.

On every other double-page spread, one or two gatefold flaps unveil an extended scene as the little white girl and the chicks play together. The number of babies increases with each turn of a page or a relatively sturdy flap, revealing chicks of a variety of colors, from classic yellow to deep brown. This offering is wordless as well, but a numeral floats on the matte-white backgrounds as each one of the eggs hatches. Idle’s skill at capturing balletic body language, both of Flora and of the hatchlings, is in top form here. In smooth, rounded swaths of muted colors, the youngster and the chicks chase and cavort in wonderfully comic scenes; one chick emerges from an egg feet first, another can’t seem to dislodge a shell from its head, and a third dances with a coveted worm. The mama hen, who appeared at the beginning of the action and promptly exited to the left, returns on the penultimate and final spreads to round off the counting exercise to 10.

These chicks are an adorable brood. Here’s hoping Flora and an array of beasties will be appearing in the flaps of more board books soon. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-4657-7

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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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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