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Board books to keep littlest readers busy all summer long.
First Book of Puppies
Susan Ring. Disney Press, $7.99 (10p) ISBN 978-1-4231-3906-5
Part of the Baby Einstein series, this cheery lap book repeatedly poses the question, "What do puppies love?" The answers appear in a mix of photographs and cartoon scenes that display puppies running, playing, eating, or sleeping. Each spread includes one or more windows, embedded within the page, that can be slid up. When readers do so, cartoon portraits of puppies are replaced with photographic ones engaged in the same activities. A toddler-pleasing combination of realistic and make-believe. All ages. (Aug.)
* Happy Hippo, Angry Duck: A Book of Moods
Sandra Boynton. Little Simon, $5.99 (16p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1731-1
With her familiar brand of gentle absurdity, Boynton creates similes that ascribe moods to various animals. "Hello, Little Person!/How are you today?" greets a concerned-looking bear. Part of the book's pleasure is that Boynton doesn't rely on cliched animal personifications: "Are you happy as a hippo?/Or angry as a duck?/Maybe sad as a chicken?/('Can you sadly say, "Cluck Cluck?" ')"After the characters tell readers, "Well, I hope you are happy./But if you are not,/you have friends who will help you./We like you a lot," even kids in the stoniest of moods will feel the effect of this pick-me-up. All ages. (Aug.)
I'm the Scariest Thing in the Castle
Kevin Sherry. Dial, $6.99 (26p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3390-9