Meow meow purr meow (translation: a charmer).

MEOW!

Won’t anyone play yarn ball?

A little black-and-white kitty asks an adult cat in a dress to play, but she’s too busy gardening. Similarly, another adult cat, this one in spectacles and an apron, is occupied in the kitchen and can’t play. A slightly larger kitten with a yellow bow over one ear is far too engrossed in a book to play. Little kitty is despondent and acts up, running all over the house with the yellow yarn trailing behind. It’s tangled in the chandelier, the table legs, the chair legs, the family’s legs! That makes everyone angry and earns the little puss a timeout. (The adults show their teeth a bit here.) The tot apologizes and, with some help from the older sibling, rolls all the yellow yarn back up. Then the wee one assists each family member with the task that was interrupted (even joining older sibling in the chair with the book)…and then everyone has time to play eight-pawed cat’s cradle before bath and bed. In the final image, the little kitten snuggles down with the yellow yarn ball and purrs. Ying’s expressive, anthropomorphic feline family is utterly endearing, and small humans will easily recognize themselves even though the tale is told entirely in pictures and meows (and one purr). The digitally created illustrations appear painted, and young kitten lovers will be able to tell themselves the story without worrying over words.

Meow meow purr meow (translation: a charmer). (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-244096-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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