A happy book that should stand up to substantial toddler abuse.

POOKIE POP PLAYS HIDE-AND-SEEK

From the Tiny Tab series

The familiar game played with sturdy pull tabs.

Pookie Pop, a cartoon-style kitty, is looking for her animal friends. Using the same format as Cutie Pie Looks for the Easter Bunny (2015), Ho's cheerful, anthropomorphic animals appear when sturdy tabs are pulled. Young children will quickly chime in on the “found you” refrain as each friend is discovered. The animals included have no relationship in real life—being from every continent and looking more like stuffed animals than the real things. This is a vocabulary builder, with both common creatures and such exotic animals as rhino, toucan, and koala waiting to be found. The birthday party at the end is a happy surprise, though curiously, only six of the 12 animals found are shown gathered around the table. The rounded tabs are sandwiched between thick board pages. Toddlers firmly grasping the page may have trouble getting the tab to slide, but once they discover the reward of a cute creature hiding, they will learn to hold the page gently. The half-circle tabs are less prone to fraying than smaller, square-edged tabs.

A happy book that should stand up to substantial toddler abuse. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7600-1

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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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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