Not an essential purchase, but this playful romp from one to 10 with a whale, lions, blue bears, pink elephants, crocodiles,...

ANIMAL NUMBERS

Rhyming text and cartoony creatures careen across the sturdy pages of this board book.

A numeral placed on one of the corners of each two-page display accompanies a rhyming couplet that identifies the animal pictured and some detail of its habitat or behavior. Of course, none of these animals or the environments they are shown in look like anything in nature, but young children won't have any trouble recognizing them. The iconic images clearly communicate each critter’s essential features. The rhymes trip nicely off the tongue, too. “In the forest, three bears scurry. / Why are they in such a hurry?” (However, shared spelling doesn't make “one” rhyme with “gone.”) In each verse the number is spelled out and enlarged to stand out prominently, as are most of the ending rhymes. Other words, mostly verbs, are also printed larger—perhaps to encourage adult readers to emphasize the action. The final spread mixes up all the animals, one whale through 10 monkeys.

Not an essential purchase, but this playful romp from one to 10 with a whale, lions, blue bears, pink elephants, crocodiles, pandas, foxes, penguins, parrots, and monkeys keeps the learning light. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 7, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6937-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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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