Two Dogs on a Trike (Gabi Snyder)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Two Dogs on a Trike, written by Gabi Snyder and illustrated by Robin Rosenthal, a fun and irreverent board book of counting from one to ten.

Spotting a lone canine slipping from the garden gate to meet up with a friend, a scowling kitty gives chase as the titular two dogs on a trike continue their journey, picking up more puppy pals along the way. With each new friend, the mode of transportation changes, from trike to scooter to bike, until then ten characters find themselves on a spacecraft with nine dogs… and one cat who has infiltrated their ranks. Spooking the dogs, the cat kicks into active pursuit of the wayward canines, with each friend splitting off from the pack until the original lone dog finds themself back in their home garden, and the cat can set forth on an adventure of their own (with another critter taking up the chase).

Whimsical and stylish. Combining two things that little ones love – vehicles and animals – with a wacky instruction on counting from one to ten, then back to one, this delightful board book makes for an entertaining read. Snyder’s bouncy rhyming text has a wonderful rhythm and snappy cadence, and Rosenthal’s hilariously expressive animals bring energy to every scene. The length is short and best for smaller bookworms, but JJ loved it, especially the grim-faced feline pursuer. Overall, this is a wonderful fun addition to any early library, and we definitely recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Five Little Dreidels (Jeffrey Burton)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Five Little Dreidels, written by Jeffrey Burton and illustrated by Juliana Motzko, a lyrical board book that puts a Hanukkah spin (the only pun in this review, I promise) on the classic “Five Little Monkeys” tune.

As five brightly-colored dreidels are spinning and playing, each one faces a slight mishap that puts a stop to the fun, like getting dizzy, tripping, falling down, etc. Mama Dreidel is sure to notify Doctor Dreidel, who advises against further spinning, but these little dreidels cannot be contained. At last, only one dreidel has won the pile of chocolate gelt, but is feeling a bit lonesome… until their dreidel friends return to play.

Festive, but just fine. There’s an equal mix of what works and what doesn’t here – the colorful illustrations, for instance, are a delight, while the bungling, clumsy rhythm and meter are a chore to read aloud. Motzko’s artwork is truly the highlight, featuring accurate Hebrew letters on the dreidels as well as plenty of visual nods to the Hanukkah holiday, like latkes and a menorah. It’s just a shame the text adds so little; the song doesn’t work, and the lyrics don’t provide much in the way of information or plot. The length is fine for a quick storytime, but JJ and I were both pretty unimpressed. Overall, this could be a fun gift for VERY small bookworms, but with a plethora of other – and better – books about dreidel available, I’d give this one a pass.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to the Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

I’m a Little Snowman (Hannah Elliot)

Hello, friends! Our book today is I’m a Little Snowman, written by Hannah Elliot and illustrated by Anna Daviscourt, a wonderful – and surprisingly inclusive – wintry twist on a classic nursery rhyme.

Metered to “I’m a Little Teapot,” this snowpeople-themed board book thrives on answering a few simple questions: what do snow buds look like? What do they like the wear? What do they like to do? The conclusion? There are some similarities, some differences, but once the snow falls, nothing matters but having some fun!

Delightful! Hannah Eliot excels at board boards that explore seasonal themes in simple yet quirky ways, such as this snowperson cover of a well-known melody that allows for an engaging and upbeat reading experience. Yet what makes this title truly special is its subtle nod to genders beyond the binary; while two characters identify themselves as a snowman and snow gal, the third identifies themself as a “snow pal.” Combined with the versions snowpeople’s diverse body types and physical features (the snow gal sports glasses and a hairdo that strongly resembles afro puffs, for instance), and the story also imparts an understated but important lesson on inclusivity that is toned perfectly to the audience and subject matter. Daviscourt’s charming illustrations contribute to this concept wonderfully, visually making each snowperson completely distinct and absolutely adorable. The length is perfect for a quick read, and JJ loved it. A fantastic read for little ones, and a great holiday gift – we highly recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

The Monsters on the Broom (Annemarie Riley Guertin)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Monsters on the Broom, written by Annemarie Riley Guertin and illustrated by Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn, a cute, melodic, Halloween-themed board book.

It’s Halloween night, and monsters are afoot! Metered to the classic rhythm of “Wheels on the Bus,” little readers can cackle, howl, and groan along with witches, werewolves, and mummies as they fly past on an enchanted broom.

Basic but fun. There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking here – simple lyrics twist a familiar nursery rhyme with spooky (but not scary) festive friends. There’s some cutouts on the top edge of the pages that give this board book a little personality, but no interactive elements, or really even a plot line. However, with some colorful and cute characters and a widely accessible concept, it’s not without its charms. The length is fine for a storytime, and JJ enjoyed it. As far as Halloween board book fare goes, this is a fine choice – perhaps not destined to be an annual classic, but certainly a quick and fun way to celebrate. Overall, Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to the Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Happy Unicorn & Sad Unicorn (Clever Publishing & Samara Hardy)

Hello, friends! Our books today are Happy Unicorn and Sad Unicorn by Clever Publishing and Samara Hardy, the first two titles in the First Feelings series of board books for toddlers.

What can make you happy? What can make you sad? And what can make you feel better? These are the three basic concepts explored through the adventures of Unicorn and her band of animal buddies. Happy Unicorn has a fairly straightforward plot, simply listing things that typically make one happy, such as playing with friends or eating yummy foods. Sad Unicorn expands on this by not only presenting situations that can make us sad – such as disappointing weather or getting a boo-boo – but also ways in which we can help ourselves or others feel better when they’re down.

Fantastic. When it comes to emotional development board boards geared at toddlers, simplicity and entertainment are key, and this series has both. Unicorn and their pals are adorably illustrated with bright colors and expressive design by Hardy, and the scenes and interactive elements are well-utilized to engage the youngest of bookworms. The messages about emotions are similarly noncomplex, yet also encourage healthy emotional management, such as encouraging readers to talk about their negative feelings and consider the emotions of others when interacting with them (for instance, several times, when JJ saw Unicorn supporting a sad friend, she remarked how kind Unicorn was being). The length of each book is perfect for a quick read, and we liked these immensely. Overall, a great way to explore emotions for little ones, and we highly recommend them – Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: Copies of these books were provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)