Hooray for Snowy Days! (Susan Kantor)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Hooray for Snowy Days!, written by Susan Kantor and illustrated by Katya Longhi, a sweet and wintery board book from the creators of Here Comes Fall!

When snow days arrive, there’s plenty to celebrate: hats, mittens, and sturdy boots; going sledding, making snowmen and snow angels; sipping delicious hot cocoa and going for a sleigh ride. But best of all is sharing all these snow day activities with the ones closest to us!

Another sweet and simple yet thoroughly charming board book from Kantor and Longhi, starring the same cast of woodland friends from Here Comes Fall! Once again, there’s nothing here that breaks the mold: a cast of cuddly forest critters scamper through a snowy landscape and partake in festive seasonal activities. And again, this basic premise is done very well by the author and illustrator: Kantor’s rhyming text is bouncy, well-metered and enjoyable to read aloud, and Longhi’s illustrations are cheerful, warm, and undeniably sweet. No holidays are alluded to in this one, making this a nice nondenominational wintertime tale for very small bookworms. It’s a great length for a quick read, and JJ loved the artwork and snowy-day activities. Overall, a simple and familiar subject covered with obvious affection and joy, and absolutely work a look. Baby Bookworm approved!

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

How Many Sleeps ‘Til Christmas? (Joff Brown & Gabriele Tafuni)

Hello, friends! Our book today is How Many Sleeps ‘Til Christmas? by Joff Brown and Gabriele Tafuni, a delightful holiday board book to help readers countdown to Christmas.

It’s that time of year again, the time when so many of us are asking: how many sleeps ‘til Christmas? Still, while we wait for the magic day, there’s plenty of holiday fun and festivities to partake in – shopping for presents, making gingerbread houses, making paper chains, decorating the tree… and maybe a few extra-magical holiday moments as well! Before you know it, the countdown will be over, and Christmas will be here!

Happy, cheerful holiday fun. This festive little title celebrates the Christmas holiday in all the ways kids love, from family activities like wrapping gifts and playing in snow to more enchanted and silly moments like snowmen having dance parties and reindeer practicing their flight patterns, all leading up to Christmas Day. Even better, the cozy, colorful illustrations feature a wonderfully diverse cast of families: multigenerational, LGBTQ+, single-parent, mixed-race, and in wonderful mix of skintones and body types. One child wears hearing aids, though this does result in the only hiccup of the book – a page in which Santa is sneaking around the hearing-impaired child’s room that features the line “if you listen closely”. A cringey oversight, but otherwise this was a treat to read aloud. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ loved the bouncy rhymes and holiday theming. A wonderful way to celebrate the countdown to Christmas, and we loved 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.)

You Are Home (Mackenzie Porter)

Hello, friends! Our book today is You Are Home, written by Mackenzie Porter and illustrated by Xin Li, a sweet board book that explores the special bond between mother and child.

A mother sits in a rocking chair, cuddling her new baby to her chest, keeping the infant safe and warm in her arms. This embrace is the baby’s first “home”, and as the child grows into a toddler, then a preschooler, than beyond, their “home” expands. First it’s a room as they learn to walk; then the outdoors as they explore the world beyond their house. Yet as the world grows larger and more filled with possibility, one constant remains: since a mother’s love follows their child wherever they go, they will always, in a way, be home.

Adorable. This sturdy board book title takes a timeless and universal theme of a mother’s unconditional love and crafts a sweet, simple narrative that young readers and their own mother figures can happily share. The meter of the rhyming text can take a little getting used to, but once you do, this is a great one to read aloud, especially for very small bookworms. Li’s colorful, affectionate illustrations fit the tone of the text perfectly, and each spread is filled with atmosphere and warmth. The length is great for a quick read, and JJ loved the easy-to-read text and engaging artwork. This one would make a lovely gift for new moms, and we really enjoyed 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.)

My Heart Grows (Jeffrey Burton)

Hello, friends! Our book today is My Heart Grows, written by Jeffrey Burton and illustrated by Joanne Liu, a sweet board book about the bond between caregivers and their little ones.

First, a heart beats for one; but when that one heart welcomes a child into their life, it beats for two and just keeps growing. It grows as the child does – as they learn, as they laugh, as they cry, as they figure out how to be brave. With every adventure, every setback, and every life lesson, a heart grows and grows, and so do the other hearts that love it.

Heartwarming. A gentle look at the bond between a parent/caregiver and the child who makes their heart grow. Simple, earnest rhyming text is fairly easy to read aloud (though there were a few meter inconsistencies that tripped me up) and warmly tender in its tone. Brightly colored child-like illustrations are delightful and surprisingly atmospheric. One small disappointment was that while the parent/caregiver-child pairs depicted do feature some racial diversity, there is only one non-traditional caregiver (a grandparent) and no sign of blended families, which feels like a missed opportunity. However, everything else about the book is a delight, especially the clever use of the heart cutouts to fit the theme of a growing heart. The length was great for a quick and easy read, and JJ enjoyed it. 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.)

Here Comes Fall! (Susan Kantor)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Here Comes Fall!, written by Susan Kantor and illustrated by Katya Longhi, a sweet celebration of fall fun.

A group of adorable forest friends celebrate the arrival of fall, and all the fun that comes along with it. They rejoice in the red and gold of the autumn leaves, the cooler weather, and the crisp air. Donning their cozy sweaters, they gather together to pick apples and carve pumpkins, and jump in crunchy leaf piles. And of course, fall brings cool nights with frosty windows, perfect for enjoying moonlit skies or cozying inside with friends and family.

Generic yet sweet. This colorful board book of autumnal themes doesn’t have anything particularly groundbreaking to offer, but what it does, it does very well. The text is simple and easy to read, yet does a good job of capturing the sensations and excitements of fall weather and activities. The illustrations are very cute, and all of the wide-eyed animal pals are endearing and cuddly-looking. Allusions to autumn holidays are scant; only Halloween is referenced, but is not mentioned by name. The length is great for a quick read through, and JJ enjoyed the cute animals and fall themes. Overall, a sweet little book whose approachable style makes up for lack of substance; if you’re looking for a simple fall board book, this one will do the trick – Baby Bookworm approved.

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