“A doting mama is always close by as her Little Panda explores the world. Rhyming couplets on every spread keep little ones turning the pages. Each page includes internal rhymes: ‘winking, / blinking,’ ‘stumbling, / tumbling,’ ‘slipping, / gripping,’ etc. This rhyming vocabulary is highlighted in lavender and blue, contrasting with the otherwise neutrally colored text. These action words give the text an immediacy that’s appropriate for action-oriented toddlers. Verbs such as ‘spies,’ ‘bumbles,’ ‘plodding,’ ‘clambers,’ and ‘dangles,’ not typical toddler repertoire, are clearly signaled by the uncluttered pictures. The mama panda and her cub look more like stuffed animals than photorealistic ones, with matching smiles and eyes. The natural setting the cub is playing in is somewhat simplified and idealized and does not reflect the species’ natural, temperate habitat, but children who live in snowy climates will recognize much of Little Panda’s play. Companion title Little Tiger follows the same format, also focusing on the caring relationship between mama and cub. The picture of the mama tiger carrying the cub in her mouth by the scruff of its neck is accurate but may elicit questions from older children. A happy addition for children fascinated by animals, this and its companion also provide assurance that mama, whatever the species, will always be nearby. ”
Little Penguin toddling, waddling, step-by-step so slow. A baby Emperor penguin journeys from his mama’s feet, taking his first steps. Finally brave enough, with support from Mama, he joins the penguin nursery. A sweet story of youthful adventure and motherly love, told with short rhyming lines and warm illustrations. Written by former preschool teacher Julie Abery and captured by Suzie Mason’s beautiful artwork, this book in Little Animal Friends board book series will delight babies and toddlers and demand to be read again and again.
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Little Zebra dancing, prancing, jumps without a care— —until she loses her Mama! As the zebra herd moves on the African plains, Mama is not far behind and helps her young one find the herd again. A sweet story of youthful adventure and motherly love, told with short rhyming lines and warm illustrations. Written by former preschool teacher Julie Abery and captured by Suzie Mason’s beautiful artwork, this book in Little Animal Friends board book series will delight babies and toddlers and demand to be read again and again.
retail your price $8.99
Little Hippo grazes on African plains, falling behind his herd, when a flock of oxpecker birds won’t leave him alone. Mama helps him and all becomes right again. A sweet story of youthful adventure and motherly love, told with short rhyming lines and warm illustrations. A perfect board book for ages 0-3.
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Little Monkey swings through the jungle until—Oops!—he falls out of a tree. Mama catches him and comforts him and all becomes right again. A sweet story of youthful adventure and motherly love, told with short rhyming lines and warm illustrations. A perfect board book for ages 0-3.
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Little Panda goes on an adventure in the jungle, but mama is always close by her cub. Short rhyming lines in this illustrated board book tell a sweet story of youthful adventure and motherly love.
retail your price $9.99
Little Animal Friends
Follow these young animals as they venture out on their own, with mama not far behind. These board books feature rhyming narrative poems with active verbs and warm, inviting illustrations that tell a sweet story of adventure, perfect for young ones and their caregivers to read together. Read an interview with the author.READ REVIEWS
Complete Series of 6: your price $54.94
“Action verbs abound in these adorable animal baby adventures. In Little Panda, the rotund cub stumbles and tumbles across the wintry terrain, playing and making angels in the snow. In the second title, Little Tiger prowls and growls on the jungle floor, walking, stalking, and giving a roar. As these youngsters explore their environments, their mamas are close at hand to intervene at the first hint of danger or drama. ”
“A playful, curious little hippo wanders away and is found by its mother. As Little Hippo (safely) strays from the herd, readers see joyful mud baths and splashy water play. There’s a brief moment of childlike moping when Mama Hippo pulls Little Hippo back to the herd, but it’s not long before it’s grins and giggles once more. Mason’s warm illustrations are irresistibly front and center in this board book. The rhyme and cadence of Abery’s text gives the story a lullaby feel, with a rich vocabulary. Patterned stanzas—’Little Hippo / puzzling, / nuzzling, / finds a red-billed bird’—work wonderfully when read aloud, and words like ‘romping / stomping,’ ‘bustling / hustling,’ and ‘sulking’ expose little readers to new verbs. The second word in each rhyming pair is printed in blue, contrasting with the overall purple type. The illustrations have a watercolor feel, with softly mottled grays, pinks, and purples for the hippos’ skin, and include nuances like shadows from passing birds and light filtering through water. Little Hippo’s face is drawn with minimal features but is nevertheless incredibly expressive, with joy and even remorse easily discernible. Abery and Mason also created the simultaneously publishing Little Monkey, with similar themes of an adventurous little animal who is rescued and loved by its mama. The text follows the same format of rhythm and rhyme paired with lovely illustrations. A delightful animal outing.”
“Little Panda and Little Tiger have been named to the CCBC Choices 2020 list, in the picture books for young readers category. CCBC Choices is the annual best-of-the-year list of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The 2020 list is a listing of titles published in 2019 that have been chosen for CCBC Choices 2020. ”
“Little Hippo named to Best Books of 2020 so far, Ages 0-2 list ”
“When Little Penguin waddles and slips, Mama Penguin provides snuggly safety. This series follow-up to Abery and Mason’s Little Hippo (2020) features emperor penguins. Little Penguin rides his mama’s feet and eats with her (discreetly but accurately depicted) before waddling out on his own. When he slips and falls, Mama Penguin is there to clean him up and bring him back to the safe huddle of penguins. Abery’s rhythmic, rhyming text follows a repeated pattern, with the active verbs highlighted in purples and blues. There are some great vocabulary words for little readers, like preening and guzzling. The real attention-grabbers, however, are Mason’s illustrations: Fluffy Little Penguin is utterly charming, with an expressive, curious face. The snowy background has depths and layers, with deep blues, light purples, and shadowy grays. All of the images have texture: icy footprints, snow clinging to fluffy feathers. Simultaneously publishing in the Little Animal Friends series, Little Zebra follows a similar plotline. When Little Zebra wanders off, her mother guides her back to the trail. With darling African savanna friends like a gazelle and active verbs, it follows the same formula as Little Penguin. While this may feel a bit repetitive to grown-ups, little ones will enjoy the familiarity of rhythm and the echoing theme of mama keeping baby safe. Irresistible penguin fluff and predictable, rhythmic text make this a good fit for little readers. (Board book. 6 mos.-2) ”
“Bundle up and join an adorable penguin as he explores the icy and cold world around him. Little Penguin engages in a series of behaviors that are realistic to penguins, and human toddlers alike! From hiding to nuzzling, eating food his parents provide, flapping his wings (or, for humans, arms), toddlers will find a kindred spirit in the activities of this cool animal. Walking slowly on the ice, falling, sprawling on the snow, and being comforted by his mama are all experiences toddlers may share. Dusted off by his mama, the little penguin is sent off to play with the other little penguins. This is a joyful and cozy celebration of community. The illustrations are soft and accurately depict a penguin’s habitat. Young children will want to experience the world just as the little penguin does. An adorable vocabulary-building text, with two emphasized words on each page. This book is a truly wonderful addition to a child’s bookshelf. Children will enjoy acting out a penguin role, be sure to play along. ”—Kristen Bowman
“The world is a new and exciting place for Little Zebra! After emerging on wobbly legs, she quickly embraces the actions of walking, running, and jumping as she explores the world around her. When she kicks a cloud of dust into the air and Mama disappears from view, however, Little Zebra finds that she needs Mama’s support in her development. Meeting the rest of the herd makes her nervous at first, but Little Zebra soon discovers the joy to be had in her dynamic surroundings. This board book is especially well suited to the youngest readers. Sturdy, thick pages will stand up to multiple readings and exploration by little hands, while the overall presentation will appeal to caregivers, as well. One line of text is found on each page, forming a rhyming couplet with the phrase on the subsequent page. Within each line, two additional rhyming words are featured in colorful font, introducing new vocabulary as well as a pleasant auditory experience. Large, dynamic, and repetitive words enhance textual awareness for young readers engaging with this book. Coupled with the text are friendly, accessible illustrations that feature Little Zebra’s herd and the animals that reside nearby. Each of the animals is recognizable for its real-life counterpart, but they all have a childlike glow to them, much like the animals represented in children’s toys and furniture. Though not fully lifelike, these images endear the creates of Little Zebra’s world to young readers through a colorful and visually appealing design. Through the use of friendly illustrations and a heartwarming, simple plot, young children will find a story that touches upon their own experiences. This is an excellent addition to Storytime collections for babies and toddlers whether at home or in a group setting. ”—Mary Lanni
“Each little animal bravely begins to walk on its own, sometimes falling, sometimes dancing, but always trying. Beautiful watercolor textures warm each scene of full habitat landscapes, paired with gentle rhymes about these baby animals’ first independent steps exploring their surroundings and the soothing parental support that is always nearby. ”
“Bank Street's Best Books of the Year 2021 Under Five List – "An emperor penguin chick takes his first step in his journey to leave his mama. Warm, textured illustrations." ”