Guess how much you’ll be reading this.

YOU ARE MY HAPPY

Parent and child share a day of small adventures and cozy snuggles.

That the two happen to be tortoises is totally beside the point. Die-cut holes and shaped edges turn nearly every page flip into a surprise. Following a parental “Good morning, Baby” to greet the youngling’s “Wake up, wake up, I want to play… / The sun is up, it’s a brand new day!” the two reptiles ramble off to munch on leaves, weather a sudden rain shower, discover a flock of butterflies, climb a hill, watch the moon rise, and, at last, weary little one perched on top, settle down to snooze again. The paper engineering is ingenious. Turning a seemingly arbitrarily shaped page with a special window framing a pink butterfly fills the spread with many jewel-toned insects; even though the tortoises never change position, the scene is completely transformed. Hegarty’s rhymed narrative features lots of tender sentiments—“Wherever you are, wherever you go, / Baby, I’ll always love you so”—while steering clear of any gender references. In Elliott’s peaceful, grassy settings the wanderers’ small smiles and shared glances likewise create a sense of loving intimacy. This is likely to become a victim of its own appeal, being as the paper stock is rather too flimsy to survive much contact with toddler hands. Still, a clear winner for sharing with audiences of one or dozens.

Guess how much you’ll be reading this. (Novelty. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-3509-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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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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