Asquith’s exuberant story celebrates the fierce independence of toddlerhood. The refrain “My do it!” is frequently heard as a tousle-headed tot barrels through his day. Asquith covers familiar territory for toddlers, depicting a young boy as he endeavors to dress himself, help Mommy do the grocery shopping, prepare lunch, and so on, until he eventually settles down for the night. Yet, in the end, the toddler’s quest for autonomy gives way to a stronger desire—the need for a warm snuggle and a bedtime story that mother and child can do together. The lively text skips along at a merry pace. “Later the boy sat down to play / He found some crayons and some clay / and a funny puzzle of a cow. / ‘Come on,’ said Mommy, / ‘I’ll show you how.’ / ‘My do it!’ / And he did.” The interactive story involves readers in the tale’s progression, prompting them to help the boy complete his tasks by lifting the flaps to discover missing items, such as a lost puzzle piece or an elusive tub toy. Williams’s vibrant illustrations are the focal point of every page, with the generously colored, large-sized drawings incorporating a plethora of toddler-pleasing minutiae; from the smiley faces on the boy’s drinking mugs to the intriguing array of toys scattered across the bedroom floor. The cheerfully drawn visages of mother and child are sure to evoke some answering grins from readers. With thick pages and manageable flaps, this merry little book should keep busy tots happily occupied. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7894-5648-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2000

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.


This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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In this entry in the Growing Tree series, the publisher copyrights the text, while Carpenter provides illustrations for the story; here, the three billy goats named Gruff play on a nasty troll’s greed to get where the grass is greenest. Logic has never been the long suit of this tale: Instead of letting the two smaller billy goats be terrorized by the mean and ugly troll, children wonder, why doesn’t the biggest billy goat step in sooner? It’s still a good introduction to comparatives, and the repetitiveness of the story invites participation. The artwork matches the story: The characters are suitably menacing, quivering, or stalwart, and the perspectives allow readers to be right there in the thick of the action. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 30, 1998

ISBN: 0-694-01033-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1998

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