Not a timeless classic but a sturdy introduction to the holiday fun.

ROLY POLY LOOKS FOR SANTA CLAUS

From the Tiny Tab series

Another board book designed to prime toddlers for Santa's annual appearance.

Roly Poly, a white bear clad in a holiday sweater, is looking for Santa, in the yard, in the house, and in the kitchen. In the process, he finds his animal friends getting ready for the holiday. In a nod to many families’ reality, the presents are already under the tree when Roly Poly's parents send him off to bed; Santa delivers only the filled Christmas stocking. Each of the four large, semicircular tabs protruding from the side and top of the book does double duty. For example, Deer is on one side of the second tab, which, when pulled, reveals Fox in a die-cut window; when the page is turned, the same tab shows Giraffe, and Cat appears when the tab is slid. The illustrations, cheery, digitally created cartoons, have no relation to real life. Why would a dog and a mouse be baking cookies together? But that won't matter to toddlers, who want to tug on the pages of any book. The half-circle tabs will stand up to their rough handling. The die-cut openings are almost flush to the page surface, so toddler fingers won't be able to tear them.

Not a timeless classic but a sturdy introduction to the holiday fun. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8938-4

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

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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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