BABY T. REX

FINGER PUPPET BOOK

Is it a puppet? Is it a book? It’s both.

Extra-thick pages and a small trim size make this novelty book appealing to toddlers. The baby dinosaur finger puppet that pokes through the center hole is made out of a diamond-patterned turquoise fabric with a stitched-on smile on its face. It is utterly charming, though it is also pictured with yellow felt spikes running down its back, a physical feature this species of dinosaur did not have. The slight story (primarily one sentence per spread) describes Baby T. Rex’s attempts to be “the biggest baddest dino ever!” Confusingly, the finger puppet is static—and perpetually smiling. The dark backgrounds in the book make it difficult to see or imagine her actions. When she stomps her feet, only her head moves. Her roar is silent. Grandpa T. Rex is certainly fierce-looking, but his dark body is difficult to distinguish from an equally dark background. Sadly, all of the baby dinosaur’s practice at ferocity is for naught. The book ends with her apologizing to Grandpa and going to sleep. Companion book Baby Yeti follows a similar format. The yeti is white with a turquoise face and sparkly gold horns. But the yeti, referred to as “he,” has a more active role—building a snow castle, skating, and sledding. Taken together, they deliver a possibly unintentional message about the agency of males and the lack of such for females.

Disappointing. (Novelty board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7972-0567-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 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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This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies

DINOSAUR DANCE!

It's not the first time dinosaurs have been featured in a clever Boynton board book. It seems she—and we—can't get enough.

As her fans know, Boynton has a sly wit that respects the intelligence of her young fans and amuses the adults asked to “read it again.” In this book she introduces nine dinosaurs, each of which dances in a way that seems totally appropriate for that particular species. “The blue Stegosaurus goes SHIMMY SHIMMY SHAKE. / The red Brontosaurus goes QUIVERY QUAKE.” Drawing on her experience as a children’s musician, she writes a text that trips along like a song with rhymes that make sense but don't intrude. The illustrations, typical Boynton, reflect her greeting-card background. They are cartoonish but manage to capture the unique personality of each creature. The unnamed dinosaur narrator looks genuinely distraught at not being able to name the “tiny little dino” that “goes DEEDLY DEE.” Spoiler alert: the tiny little dinosaur is probably Compsognathus and would be about the size of a small chicken. Young dinophiles would be impressed if the dinosaurologists in their lives could supply that factoid, but alas, they will have to look it up.

This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8099-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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