CALICO’S CURIOUS KITTENS

A kindle of kittens keeps Tildes’s lovable cat, Calico, busy in this newest edition to the series (Calico’s Cousins, 1999, etc.). Like toddlers of every species, Calico’s offspring consider naptime the perfect opportunity to romp and play. From frolicking in the flour to climbing the curtains, the curious felines investigate their surroundings, wreaking pint-sized havoc in their paths. While their worn-out mama snoozes with a sleepy trio of tots, a quartet of the more adventurous kitties escapes to the backyard. There they discover a friendly pup and have a close encounter with the frog pond. Tildes’s brief prose captures the single-minded determination of kittens on the prowl, while the simple questions inserted into the text draw the readers into the story. The result is a toddler-friendly tale that offers up plenty of laughs. “Ginger is in a bag. Pumpkin is in a drawer. Where is Frisky? In trouble. Uh, oh . . . ” Full-bleed watercolors convey the impish delight all kittens take in their escapades. The brightly hued, detailed landscapes contain plenty of sly feline humor to tickle little fancies. Each of the seven is drawn with an eye to their individual personas: Puff is a soft gray and white ball of fluff while Frisky is a tiger-striped scamp with a twinkle in his green eyes. Brimming with puckish fun, Tildes’s tale is just right for rambunctious little ones. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2003

ISBN: 1-57091-511-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2003

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This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers.

COLOR DOG

A chunky board book about colors features photographs of dogs and incorporates many interactive elements.

Even the front cover of this title is interactive. Pull a large red tab, and a bulldog’s head moves back and forth as he chews on the shoelace of a red tennis shoe. Inside, further interactive features, rhyming text, and illustrations featuring cute pups and their adorable antics await. For example, the orange pages offer a collage of pumpkins, autumn foliage, puppies, and a cat, reading: “Orange the patch of pumpkins, / Orange the autumn leaves, / Orange the frumpy, napping cat… / that I chase up a tree.” One of the pumpkins is a flap that conceals the face of a precious pup, and another, larger flap hides a pop-up tree branch on which an orange kitty perches. Other pages incorporate some more noxious surprises, such as: “Green the swamp I love to swim in, / Green the summer grass, / Green the color of the air… / when my dog food gives me gas.” Pull the tab here to trigger a large green cloud that emanates from the back end of a suitably embarrassed-looking basset hound.

This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4986-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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