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Review of How It Feels to Be a Boat

How It Feels to Be a Boat by James Kwan; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Houghton    40 pp.    g 7/17    978-0-544-71533-2    $16.99 Kwan provides a warm, kooky existential exploration of what it means to be a someone. (The opening dedication “To Chloe: Welcome to Earth!” seemingly provides his motivation.) A second-person narrative speaks directly […]

Review of The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)

The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    48 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-31650246-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-50247-4    $9.99 Waking up on the title page, a little red cat spies the open door and heads out for some fun. […]

OH! AH! WAAHOO! Concept books!

Learning about colors, numbers, sounds, and the ABCs can be a blast (“WAAHOO!”) with these concept books for preschoolers-and-up. Say Zoop!, the latest old-school interactive picture book by Hervé Tullet (author of Press Here), plays with sounds, primary colors, and creativity. The book begins: touch a small blue dot “and say a little oh!” Press […]

Review of My Pictures After the Storm

My Pictures After the Storm by Éric Veillé; illus. by the author; trans. from the French by Daniel Hahn Primary    Gecko    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-776571-04-8    $16.99 This subversive French import riffs on the standard before-and-after construct with a crafty conceit and playful presentation. The opening spread is simple enough. On the left sits a grouping […]

Review of Bulldozer Helps Out

Bulldozer Helps Out by Candace Fleming; illus. by Eric Rohmann Preschool    Dlouhy/Atheneum    40 pp. 5/17    978-1-4814-5894-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5895-5    $10.99 The construction-site gang from Bulldozer’s Big Day (rev. 5/15) is on the job again. “I can help,” little Bulldozer says hopefully to the big trucks hard at work. But Dump Truck, Cement Mixer, and […]

Review of 5 Little Ducks

5 Little Ducks by Denise Fleming; 
illus. by the author Preschool    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp. 11/16    978-1-4814-2422-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-2423-3    $10.99 Listeners familiar with the traditional nursery rhyme and song know the general plotline: every day ducks go out; every day the returning group shrinks by one. But the particulars — highlighted in glorious […]

Shhhh!

Introverts have been all the quiet rage in recent years, so it’s no wonder that picture books have gotten in on the trend. If noise is stressing you out, you may find this one useful. If that doesn’t get your message across, you may have to (gulp) say it a little louder. Not everyone can […]

Review of Now

Now by Antoinette Portis; illus. by the author Preschool    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 7/17    978-1-62672-137-1    $17.99 A natural follow-up to Portis’s Wait (rev. 7/15), about a woman in a rush and the child who reminds her to stop and smell the roses, Now is an affirmation of the present and its many wonders. It opens […]

Our butterfly project

In July, the world is in bloom. Midsummer fields are speckled with wildflowers and abuzz with insects and birds enjoying the sweet nectar. Eager to celebrate this bounty of color and sound, my kids and I ordered a butterfly kit to hatch Painted Lady butterflies. (Our kit came from Insect Lore, which offers other creature […]

Review of The Fox Wish

The Fox Wish by Kimiko Aman; illus. by Komako Sakai Preschool    Chronicle    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-4521-5188-5    $16.99 A young girl and her little brother return to a park to retrieve her forgotten jump rope. When they discover a cheerful group of foxes trying to use the jump rope but failing (their tails keep tripping them […]