It’s not the sturdiest, but this French import is good for a practice run or two before trying the real thing.

MIKI GETS DRESSED

With help from pull-tabs (but not visible grown-ups), Miki the lion dons trousers, a sweater, and other clothes before going out to play.

The relatively fragile tabs won’t survive more than a few hard yanks, but the motions they create—pulling green pants up, blue sweater down, orange (pre-tied, or perhaps equipped with elastic rather than laces) shoes on, and finally a red raincoat over all—are realistic if abbreviated. (Just let the fact that he starts out with socks and blue boxers already on slide.) It’s all a setup for an exuberant pop-up surprise at the end as Miki heads outdoors to take a wild leap into a rain puddle as a snail benevolently looks on. Budding fashionistas may find more-stylish dressing guides such as Margaret Chodos-Irvine’s Ella Sarah Gets Dressed (2003) or Denise Fleming’s Maggie and Michael Get Dressed (2016) more to their taste, but younger cubs just getting into the swing of doing-it-myself may appreciate these elementally simple hints as well as the unseen voice that keeps Miki on task: “Oh, it’s raining, Miki! We’re going to get soaked!” Miki obligingly replies, “All right, I’ll put on my red raincoat.”

It’s not the sturdiest, but this French import is good for a practice run or two before trying the real thing. (Pop-up picture book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-2-40801-972-3

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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A sweet addition to the new-sibling bookshelf.

BABY BELLY

From the Get Ready Board Books series

As mom’s belly gets bigger and bigger, a young child watches and wonders.

In this wordless Spanish import, a young child—just about the height of mom’s belly—goes about a typical toddler routine: playing with toys; pulling a little elephant along in a cart; peeking over the sofa to watch mom reading; brushing teeth; eating; going out—all the while keeping an eye on mom’s growing belly. At one point, intrigued enough, the child tucks a balloon under a striped T-shirt in mimicry. Eventually, an empty crib makes an appearance in the tot’s room, and the child can be seen feeling mom’s belly for movement. Soon enough, there’s a baby in the crib, and mom’s belly has flattened. In the last spread, instead of the toy elephant pulled in the first double-page spread, the new baby is being pulled along in the cart by a very proud-looking older sibling. The gentle, pastel-colored illustrations keep the focus squarely on the child. With no information offered beyond depictions of everyday scenes, the book allows little ones to provide their own narrative, and expecting parents can use it to encourage conversation on the upcoming event. Both mother and child are depicted with white skin and blond hair.

A sweet addition to the new-sibling bookshelf. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3179-9

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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Pick up a copy or two for the toddlers and toddler-fans in your life.

YOU ARE TWO

From the You Are series

A celebration of what it is to be 2!

Toddlerhood often gets a bad rap—just think of the phrase “terrible twos.” But in O’Leary and Klassen’s hands, 2 is anything but terrible. Two is active, capable, vocal, compassionate, thoughtful, creative, determined…whole. Two is human in this picture book, and the narration’s direct address provides affirmation of toddlers’ human complexity and dignity from one spread to the next: “Now that you are two, you are learning about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. You are forming memories and making plans.” Accompanying illustrations depict a diverse range of children, different ones on each spread, which nicely avoids having any one depiction of toddlerhood falsely stand in as universal, who engage in activities that echo or expand on the text. Playful industriousness gives way to contemplative calm or mischievous determination, embodied in the faces and postures of the children. The dialectic between art and text offers some surprises, too, as when the line “Wherever you go your baby goes, too” is paired with a picture of a child in the bathtub—not with a baby doll but with a sudsy toy T. Rex.

Pick up a copy or two for the toddlers and toddler-fans in your life. (Picture book. 2)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-77147-073-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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