Tickle Time!

Book review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Tickle Time! Book Poster Image
Silly kittens teach toddlers about opposites in fun book.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Sandra Boynton infuses her silly rhyme about tickling and cheering up with some toddler-appropriate lessons about opposites: high and low, day and night, left and right, big and small. Kids also count to 4.

Positive Messages

This cute rhyming book lets kids know that moods change, and tickle time can cheer you up.

Positive Role Models & Representations

This type of book doesn't really have a story or characters; all the kittens are the same size, so no adults or role models are involved.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sandra Boynton's fun, silly rhyming book Tickle Time! tells kids, "If you're feeling blue and you don't know what to do, there is nothing like a tickle time to make you feel like new." Added to the fun are some conceptual lessons for little ones, as four cute kittens gesture or change their outfits to illustrate high and low, left and right, day and night, and big and small. Kids also count to four on one page. A typical Boynton creation, Tickle Time! blends fun, silliness, and toddler-age learning.

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What's the story?

A kitten looks worried and sad -- but not for long, as TICKLE TIME! shows how "there is nothing like tickle time to make you feel like new." Soon the kitten sees other kittens dancing and feeling happy and begins to join in the fun. Along the way, the kittens teach little ones about opposites: They tickle to the left, tickle to the right, and tickle in the day and night. By the end of the book, all the kittens are tired, but they're all happy.

Is it any good?

This Sandra Boynton book is a silly, fun way to teach children opposites and show them that sad moods can change to happy moods. Her typically adorable illustrations give a warm feeling, and silly words make learning lots of fun. Sure to cheer up many a gloomy toddler, it's also a nice little teaching tool. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about opposites. How can you tell when it's daytime for the kittens? How can you tell when it's night?

  • How many kittens do you see?

  • Can you reach high? Can you reach low?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals and picture books

Themes & Topics

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