Boynton knows how to please young kids while also entertaining the adults who will inevitably be asked to “read it again.”

YOUR NOSE!

From the Boynton on Board series

A sing-along assurance that this little fox is totally special.

Originally included on Blue Moo, Boynton’s 2007 album of children’s music, this board-book version hits all the right notes. The fact that it lampoons Neal Sedaka’s “Angel Eyes” will no doubt go right over the heads of young children—and possibly even their parents—but they can hear Sedaka himself singing this version via a link on the publisher’s website (noted on the copyright page). That version is slightly longer than the board-book text, but nevertheless, children and adults will happily sing along. Several animals rendered in Boynton’s distinctive style make appearances. Nose-to-nose pairs of rhinos, bears, ducks, pigs, and bunnies accompany the species-inclusive line “everyone can find a way to happiness, I suppose.” But a doting fox and its kit are the book’s main characters. Their expressive eyes make their mutual delight clear, and their noses are very much in evidence. The refrain—“YOUR NOSE!”—is set in a larger font, helping even young children start to recognize the words. This unabashed celebration of this little fox’s uniqueness and the grown-up fox’s unconditional admiration is completely sincere and sure to be appreciated by toddlers.

Boynton knows how to please young kids while also entertaining the adults who will inevitably be asked to “read it again.” (Board book (1-4)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5235-1021-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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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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Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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