Oscar Goes to the Moon (Helen Tanner)

Hello, friends! Sorry for our unexpected absence over the last week, we had some technical difficulties! But we are back with today’s book, Oscar Goes to the Moon by Helen Tanner, a delightful tale of exploration and friendship.

Oscar has always known that he was a bunny that wanted to go places. One day at school, he begins pondering what places he might like to go, and who he might like to meet there. Toucans in Brazil, giraffes in Africa, polar bears at the North Pole – all are possibilities, but none feel right. That is, until the night that Oscar looks up at the moon, and realizes that there is another rabbit up there! Determined to meet this mysterious moon bunny, he makes several attempts to reach the moon, but with no luck. Can Oscar find a way to make it to his outer space destination? And what will he find when he arrives?

Adorable. Oscar’s story is an uncomplicated one, with a calming and cozy tone that still manages to explores themes of persistence and curiosity. Tanner’s simple and extremely well-laid out text is wonderful to read aloud, and along with some absolutely charming illustrations, create a tale that is a treat to read for very young bookworms. The artwork especially is a standout, with a spare yet enchanting visual style that fits the tone of the story perfectly. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ loved this gentle and sweet tale. Overall, this is a great story for little bookworms just beginning to read and explore for themselves, and we absolutely 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.)

What’s Inside the Easter Egg?: A Lift-the-Flap Book (Cindy Jin)

Hello, friends! Our book today is What’s Inside the Easter Egg?: A Lift-the-Flap Book, written by Cindy Jin and illustrated by Fiona Dulieu, an interactive Easter board book of baby animals.

On each page, little bookworms are presented with a colorful Easter egg and a rhyming riddle – can you guess who’s inside? Is it a puppy, a kitten, a duckling, or a chick? Or, is it everyone’s favorite fluffy Eaater ambassador, the Easter Bunny? The only way to find out is to lift the flap!

Lots of fun. This is a pretty simple book conceptually, and pulls off its themes very well. Each riddle gives clues as to the appearance of the baby animal being teased as well as a clue about the sound they make, so readers learning their animals will be able to play along and make guesses before the flaps – which are all in the shape of large Easter eggs decorated to give further clues about the animal inside – are lifted. The rhyme scheme isn’t particularly intuitive on the initial read-through, but is easy to get used to after the first few pages. Dulieu’s soft-edged and brightly-colored illustrations are wonderfully adorable and capture the spring seasonal theme perfectly. This is a short read for the very smallest bookworms, and JJ – a big fan of lift-the-flaps – really enjoyed this one. Overall, a sweet Easter treat that any little bookworms can enjoy. Baby Bookworm approved!

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

One Busy Bunny (Robie Rogge)

Hello, friends! Our book today is One Busy Bunny, written by Robie Rogge and illustrated by August Ro, a short novelty board book about a very busy little bunny.

Busy Bunny’s got one very important job to do today: to take a basket of eggs and distribute them to all of their friends. Bunny makes sure to give eggs to their friends at the pond, in the garden, and in the woods. And after a long and exhausting day, and with an empty basket in tow, Busy Bunny gets a special surprise all their own!

Short and sweet. The content of the story itself only takes place in five couplets spaced over ten pages, so this is a very quick read. The story is similarly light and airy, mostly just identifying the adorable animals that make up Bunny’s delivery route as they smile happily over their Easter eggs. This combined with the novelty of the bunny rabbit-shaped binding makes it best for very young audiences (though the light cardboard of the pages themselves may have trouble holding up to the rough treatment of baby bookworms). Ro’s soft and lovely illustrations are beautiful to look at (to the point that I wished they were a little larger!), and Rogge’s text is bouncy and fun to read aloud. Overall, this is a fun novelty title that doesn’t exactly reach for the stars, but offers plenty of enjoyment for the youngest of readers and their caregivers. Length was great for the earliest ages, and JJ really enjoyed the unique bunny rabbit binding. 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.)

A Walk in the Woods (Caroline L. Thornton)

Hello, friends! Our book today is A Walk in the Woods, written by Caroline L. Thornton and illustrated by María Finchenko, a sweet indie title about recognizing and celebrating one’s talents.

Bunny’s day begins with a sunny sky and a playful attitude. Yet as she observes her friends, the birds, fluttering around the sky, she feels a twinge of sadness – bunnies can’t fly. She feels this same lament when she views her friend the toad swimming, and again when her bird friends begin to sing. And for all the fine adventures that Bunny has that day, it seems that there are still so many things that bunnies cannot do. It will take a wise old owl console the young bunny and get her to see that her talents are worthy of their own salute.

Lovely. Thornton’s easy, well-flowing rhymes and Finchenko’s gorgeous pastoral illustrations combine to create a story with warmth and purpose. The theme is a classic, and Bunny realizing her self-worth in the final pages is immensely satisfying, especially as the groundwork for it had been subtly laid throughout the story. The soft, dynamic, and passionate artwork has a distinct style that sets it apart from many indie titles, where the illustration is often treated as an afterthought. A vocabulary guide and fun bunny facts are suitable and edifying backmatter. The length is good for an elementary storytime, bordering on long; JJ greatly enjoyed the story, but started getting squirmy near the end. Overall, this is a well-crafted story that is definitely worth a look; Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Hat Tricks (Satoshi Kitamura)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Hat Tricks by Satoshi Kitamura, a splendid tale of a talented magician and her surprising tricks.

What’s this? Why, it’s a black top hat, with two little pointed ears peeking out from inside. Surprise! It’s Hattie the bunny, prestidigitator extraordinaire! She’s about to put on a magic show that will shock and amaze, and the reader can help her perform her mystical tricks. All they have to say are the magic words: “Abracadabra, katakurico… what’s in the hat?” From there, the amazing Hattie will conjure all sorts of friends, from a frightened yellow cat to a massive moose, all from her seemingly bottomless hat. How can Hattie top herself for the grand finale? You’ll just have to wait and see…

Splendid. This whimsical tale features both a light, fun, and genuinely surprising story with charming illustrations and text that was made for reading aloud and audience participation. The chorus of the magic spell was particularly fun to say: a simple phrase for the youngest readers to mimic, and a nice twist on a familiar magical refrain. The animals are adorable and comical, particularly Hattie; I love that Kitamura did not feel the need to “feminize” her look. Hattie dresses in a simple magician’s costume of gold jacket and red bow tie with a magic wand, and her gender is only signified through use of pronouns; no long lashes, bows, or hourglass body shape. The length was perfect for a quick storytime, and JJ had an absolute blast with the playful comedy and characters. This is a great one, especially for group storytimes, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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