Toddlers love their "wiggly toes" and "smelly nose," their "legs that run" and "licky tongue" in I Love All of Me, Lorie Ann Grover and Carolina Búzio's (Scholastic, $9.99), upbeat book. Búzio's expressive, brightly colored illustrations depict a diverse group of children jubilantly acting out Grover's self-love-promoting text.
I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Abrams Appleseed, $8.99), emits an understandably meditative vibe. Verde's gentle primer for mindfulness practice is enhanced by Reynolds's dynamic illustrations, which give the whole work a feeling of fluidity as the watercolors seep unrestrained out of their outlines.
Tatsuhide Matsuoka's Jump!(Gecko Press, $12.99) opens up into a vertical, portrait format instead of the standard landscape. This choice allows for all of the animals inside--frog, kitten, grasshopper, rabbit--to jump straight up from the bottom of the composition to the top, with a turn of the page. Each animal has its own individually designed "boing": the frog goes "Boing!"; the rabbit goes "Bo-oing!"; the snail? "Uhm. Maybe not." Matsuoka's animals, all shown on plain backgrounds with tons of white space, seem filled with potential energy until... they Jump! A perfect exciting kickoff to an active 2020.
--Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness