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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Ideal for parents, whether going it alone or together, and for the babies and toddlers they love.

LEO LOVES DADDY

A fun-loving daddy’s dedication is apparent in this slice-of-life board book.

Leo, a brown-skinned boy with tight curls, full lips, and a broad nose, delights in playing with Daddy, who has equally clearly Black features. Leo wakes up to Daddy tickling his tummy. Then this superinvolved father fixes pancakes, dances, takes Leo on a bike ride, and tends to Leo’s scraped knee. Together they build with blocks, take a bath, and snuggle with a book before bed. Companion title Leo Loves Mommy follows a similar trajectory through the day. Leo builds a blanket fort with couch cushions, practices yoga, and paints with his mother, who also presents Black. After a bike ride, mommy’s lunch “is so flashy”: celery and carrot sticks turned into edible critters with fruit and nuts. The loving devotion of both parents is tangible and genuine, sweet but not cloying. Simple two-line sentences with unobtrusive rhymes across spreads provide descriptions of the activities and add vocabulary. Each spread illustrates one event against a clear solid color background, free of distracting decoration. Together they complete a full picture of a busy toddler’s day and his loving relationship with each parent.

Ideal for parents, whether going it alone or together, and for the babies and toddlers they love. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62354-241-2

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for...

HELLO LAMB

This simple board book invites little ones to greet baby farm animals (including frog, bunny, and bee) with their corresponding sounds.

The first double-page spread greets readers with a bright yellow smiling sun and the text “Hello, Sun. / Hello, Day. / Wake up, babies. / Time to play!” Each succeeding spread has a distinct, gently patterned background, with very brief text on the verso (“Hello Puppy! / Woof Woof”). Filling up the recto is a vibrant illustration of the baby animal’s face, wide eyed and smiling, outlined in black. The final spread presents the face of a cute baby with chalky brown-gray skin, bright black eyes, and short black hair: “Goo Goo.” Babies and toddlers will enjoy looking at the baby faces, animals and human, and repeating the sounds. A companion book, Goodnight Bear, has a similar pattern of text and illustrations, though the palette is suitably darker. The moon, surprisingly, has its eyes shut, and succeeding spreads depict an owlet, a baby bat, a baby hedgehog, and other familiar nocturnal baby animals, all wide-awake and smiling. The final spread depicts a cute baby with pale skin, blond hair, and closed eyes.

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for the target audience. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0430-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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