Fluffy McWhiskers Cuteness Explosion (Stephen W. Martin)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Fluffy McWhiskers Cuteness Explosion, written by Stephen W. Martin and illustrated Dan Tavis, the silly story of one exceedingly cute kitty.

Fluffy McWhiskers is one cute cat… perhaps a bit TOO cute. You see, whenever someone lays eyes on her undeniable adorableness, they literally explode from cuteness overload. Fluffy tries to combat this by wearing an ugly sweater, giving herself a bad haircut, even wearing a bag on her head, but alas, all these preventative measures backfire – she’s even cuter than before. Making a few failed attempts to isolate herself, she finally finds peace on a deserted island; unfortunately, she finds that deserted islands are pretty lonely. That is, until the day she hears barking coming from the beach! Can she save her latest victim from cuteness explosion? Or perhaps… she won’t have to.

Hilariously weird. Flat out, this is a bizarre one with an oddly dark premise that somehow… works. Whether it’s Martin’s irreverent and deadpan text or Tavis’s hilarious artistic interpretation of the cuteness overloads – illustrated as smoky/inky clouds of rainbow dust – and visual gags, this very strange tale has a lightness of tone that overtakes any heavier implications of a cat so cute she causes literal death. The comedy works so well, from the dry jokes paired with outrageous artwork to scenes that come out of nowhere yet further the ludicrous plot in humorously expected ways (“The handwriting is so cute!” a fishing bear proclaims, reading a message in a bottle written by Fluffy, before bursting into the now-familiar visual of death-by-cuteness). The length is fine for storytime, but the tone may work better for slightly older elementary readers who will get the dry humor; that being said, JJ thought it was a riot. A wonderfully weird read, 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.)

I Am Bat (Morag Hood)

Hello, friends! Our book today is I Am Bat by Morag Hood, the cute and quirky story of a little bat and a beloved snack.

On the first page, we are introduced to Bat. Bat does not like mornings. Bat DOES like cherries. They are juicy and sweet, and they’re his very favorite. He has some cherries here, but you cannot have them. In fact, he knows exactly how many he has, so don’t even think about it! But as he speaks, crafty off-screen animals are snatching his dear cherries left and right. Oh no! Bat will be heartbroken! Unless a replacement can be found…

This was definitely an unusual little story, but that sort of added to its charm. Bat is a foolish yet sympathetic little creature, and the story and text is minimalist yet fun, perfect for beginning readers like JJ (she remembered the title after only one read-through, which is pretty remarkable). The woodblock-stamped-style art is simple and colorful, with uniquely adorable character design that creates an endearing main character. It was a good length and JJ loved it, so this one is definitely Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Next To You: A Book Of Adorableness (Lori Haskins Houran)

Hello, everyone! Our book today is Next To You: A Book Of Adorableness, written by Lori Haskins Houran and illustrated by Sydney Hanson, a sweet and slyly funny book of baby animals who are just… too gosh darn cute.

There are lots of very cute animals. A baby deer learning to stand up. A line of fuzzy little ducklings. A baby pig wearing a teeny, tiny sweater. However, all these animals have some pretty stiff competition lately. Oh, sure, the soft little puppy is adorable, the row of wee possums precious, and well, I mean…. have you SEEN a newborn giraffe? But the fact of the matter is, there one thing that’s got all the most adorable little baby animals in the world beat for adorableness. And, of course, that’s you!

This book is the kind of self-aware, subtle humor that I love in kidlit. The text has a tongue-in-cheek quality that subverts the cutesy-ness of some children’s books while paying homage to it, and it makes it really fun to read aloud. The Golden Books-reminiscent illustrations are exceedingly precious, and are paired perfectly with the sometimes silly but often sincere narrative. The length is great, and JJ really enjoys this one, especially because she can practice identifying animals. This is a surprisingly fun read, and we always enjoy it. Baby Bookworm approved!