Quibbles aside, kids will enjoy reading and handling this book as long as its (not particularly sturdy) binding lasts.

TOUCH!

MY BIG TOUCH-AND-FEEL WORD BOOK

One hundred and fifty words, most of them useful!

This substantial, 24-page board book aims to expand the vocabularies of young readers by way of text, drawings, and 30 touch-and-feel elements. Each page depicts objects organized by theme: “Meal Time,” “Bedtime,” and “Bath Time,” for example, or “Clothes,” “At the Market,” and “On the Road.” The book concludes with 10 pages of animals: “Short Hair,” “Furry,” “Smooth Skin,” “Rough Skin,” “Scales and Shells,” and “Birds.” Textured items on each page keep little fingers and minds engaged—a baby bottle, a plush blanket, a burlap sack, a corduroy jacket, horse “hair,” wolf “fur,” and fish “scales,” to name a few. The book depicts children of varied ethnicities—a white boy and girl on the front and back covers respectively, a brown-skinned boy and a girl who appears to be his younger sister, and a black-haired, brown-skinned boy buying strawberries. There are a few sour notes: one familiar toy is labeled a “shape sorter,” which many children will simply see as a puzzle. “Ride-on car,” too, sounds awkward, though descriptive. “Jam” is recognizable, but “hazelnut spread” seems a stretch for a child. Both resemble leading grocery-store brands. “Toast” is covered in a sticky spread that collects hair and dirt when laid on a rug.

Quibbles aside, kids will enjoy reading and handling this book as long as its (not particularly sturdy) binding lasts. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-2-7459-8178-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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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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It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for...

HELLO LAMB

This simple board book invites little ones to greet baby farm animals (including frog, bunny, and bee) with their corresponding sounds.

The first double-page spread greets readers with a bright yellow smiling sun and the text “Hello, Sun. / Hello, Day. / Wake up, babies. / Time to play!” Each succeeding spread has a distinct, gently patterned background, with very brief text on the verso (“Hello Puppy! / Woof Woof”). Filling up the recto is a vibrant illustration of the baby animal’s face, wide eyed and smiling, outlined in black. The final spread presents the face of a cute baby with chalky brown-gray skin, bright black eyes, and short black hair: “Goo Goo.” Babies and toddlers will enjoy looking at the baby faces, animals and human, and repeating the sounds. A companion book, Goodnight Bear, has a similar pattern of text and illustrations, though the palette is suitably darker. The moon, surprisingly, has its eyes shut, and succeeding spreads depict an owlet, a baby bat, a baby hedgehog, and other familiar nocturnal baby animals, all wide-awake and smiling. The final spread depicts a cute baby with pale skin, blond hair, and closed eyes.

It’s not exactly original, but the execution, with familiar, appealing Cabrera illustrations, is attractive and perfect for the target audience. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0430-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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