Interactive elements make this delightfully playful.

LITTLE BUG ON THE MOVE

A board book with moving parts and an active little bug that transforms into a butterfly.

Though the protagonist is consistently called “the little bug” in Hardenberg’s translation from the French, it is depicted as a genial caterpillar. In a welcome change from traditional lift-the-flap books, its adventure features sliding and spinning pieces. Each with a die-cut hole for little fingers, these interactive manipulatives allow readers to make the little bug climb up a hill, twirl on a red flower, and, in one particularly clever move, jump off a branch and right outside the frame of the book. Each page asks a different question about the little bug’s actions—“Who is hiding in a mushroom?” for instance—and the movement helps readers answer. Eventually, the little bug disappears, replaced by a chrysalis. The final page then reveals a brightly colored pop-up butterfly—the little bug transformed. Babin’s text is straightforward and concise, because really, this one is all about the interaction on the page. Cosneau’s illustrations are similarly simple. The little bug’s segmented body is colorful, with pronounced antennae and big, cartoon eyes. The backgrounds are bright but not overly busy, and they include occasional fine details such as a tiny spider and a trail of ants. Little readers will no doubt enjoy the thrill of moving the little bug around the page, which is really both the focus and the highlight of this one.

Interactive elements make this delightfully playful. (Novelty board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-2-40802-464-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 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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