Cat & Dog: A Tale of Opposites (Tullio Corda)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Cat & Dog: A Tale of Opposites by Tullio Corda, a simple and entertaining story of a pair of feisty frenemies.

Told by combining single- or double-word opposite pairs with illustrations, the reader follows the red cat and blue dog through a day of misadventures, primarily fueled by the cat’s sneaky and mischievous actions and the sweet yet dopey dog’s reactions. Readers can explore opposites such as above/below, quiet/loud, soft/hard, and so on, as the cat and dog stumble through a series of antics and interactions.

Simple and cute. While the concept is fairly basic and the story not particularly noteworthy, this translated import still has a good amount going for it. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and full of inoffensive, child-friendly visual humor that made JJ smile. And for beginning-readers, the simplicity of the words used to convey the opposite pairs is a plus – JJ was able to read nearly the entire book on her own, with only a few corrections on longer words like “unconcerned”. It’s a quick title that would make for a brief read, but for kids learning their opposites or beginning to read by themselves, this could be a nice easy read to help build confidence. Overall, it’s not a bad little book; nothing groundbreaking, but a well-constructed update on some classical literacy-comprehension themes, and worth a look. All in all, Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Hide Seek Stinky Sweet / Happy Grumpy Loved / Wiggle Jump Tickle (Ruth Austin & Kanae Sato)


Hello, friends! Our books today are a charming trio of board books by Ruth Austin and Kanae Sato: Hide Seek Stinky Sweet, Happy Grumpy Loved, and Wiggle Jump Tickle, books featuring lessons in opposites, feelings, and actions respectively.

Each book introduces us to it’s own cast of characters: a girl and her black cat, a brother and sister and their alligator friend, and a little boy and his oversized baby bird. Using simple, single-word concepts and matching illustrations, readers are shown the difference between happy and sad, asleep and awake, and a leap and a tickle, each concept woven into a simple story told through the art. Bright, vivid colors attract the eye while simple, mostly black-and-white characters allow the actions and emotions to be easily read.

Delightful! We had such a blast with these. Between the wonderful illustrations of basic concepts and the absolutely adorable characters, all three were quick, informative, and wildly fun to read together. JJ was positively enthralled by each book, all of which are built with sturdy hardcovers and water-resistant textured pages. These are a welcome addition to our board book collection, and would be a perfect gift for any budding bookworm. A great little trio to help build communication, and they’re Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Happy Face / Sad Face & Little Face / Big Face (Bill Cotter)

Hello, friends! Our books today are Happy Face / Sad Face and Little Face / Big Face by Bill Cotter, two adorable board books that help little readers learn their opposites.

In Happy Face / Sad Face, each page shows a different little boy or girl demonstrating opposites with their facial expressions: Happy/Sad, Up/Down, Asleep/Awake, etc. In Little Face / Big Face, the subjects of the faces are animals, showing more opposites like Short/Long, New/Old, and so on. At the end of each book is the favorite face of all: a mirror showing the little reader themselves, of course!

These were lovely! Bouncing rhyming text paired with simple yet cheerfully colorful art makes for fun baby-to-toddler aged reading. The opposites covered are classics, with the added bonus of teaching children about faces and animals as well. The length is what you would expect from a board book, and each can be read in under a minute. JJ loves these, especially the mirror at the end of each. A great staple for a bookworm’s first library, and we can definitely 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.)

So Far Up & So Light, So Heavy (Susanne Strasser)

Hello, friends! We have a two-for-one review today! Our books were So Far Up and So Light, So Heavy by Susanne Strasser, two cleverly fun board books of opposites.

In So Far Up, a bear happens upon a tower with a yummy pie in the window at the top. Bear would love to have some pie, but it is SO far up, and he is so far down. Enlisting the help of a few more animals as they happen along, Bear tried to build a tower of his friends to reach the pie – with mixed results. In So Light, So Heavy, Elephant would very much like to play on the teeter totter at the playground. The only problem is that he is simply too heavy, and none of the other animals can lift his side off the ground – even combined! What is an elephant to do?

These were great! Using an excellent mix of comedic narrative and repetition, and some charmingly cute visuals, each book did a great job of presenting the “opposite” it was centered around. There’s a funny little twist in the ending of each, and these were overall as entertaining and engaging as they were informative – perfect for teaching little readers. By the end of each, JJ was able to recite “so far up!” and “soooo heavy!” with me, and was eager to read through them both again after we were done. They’re short reads, perfect for even the youngest bookworms, and we enjoyed them a lot. Definitely Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Calling All Cars (Sue Fliess & Sarah Beise)

Hello, friends! Today’s review is Calling All Cars by Sue Fliess and Sarah Beise, a simple and colorful book of cars for little ones.

In rhyming text, the reader is introduced to a world of colorful cars, driven by a menagerie of colorful animal characters. Some cars are long, and some are wide. Some are old, some are new; some are big, and some are small. Some go fast, others go slow, some get stuck in traffic, and some even smash into each other for fun! There are all kinds of cars, but at the end of the day, all of them (even beloved toy cars) get tucked in for a good night’s sleep.

This one is a great basic-concept read for little bookworms, yet features some wonderfully energetic art that will make repeat readings lots of fun. The rhymes are simple, covering mostly opposites and various car- and road-related subjects. The illustrations are wonderful, packing in dozens of distinct species of animals in all manner of vehicles, which should make this a lot of fun to peruse for tiny car-lovers. The length is good, and JJ really enjoyed it, so we can definitely recommend this for any little ones who like animals, bright colors, and the things that go. Baby Bookworm approved!