HUGGING HOUR!

A winning intimacy infuses this tale of a small child who is dropped off for an overnight with Grandma. After waiting seemingly forever for her parents’ return, young Drew (or “Drool,” as she prefers to call herself) sadly concludes that she’s an orphan. Both Grandma and Kip, the house chicken, ignore her pleas for sympathy—Kip finally disappearing after being subjected to a game of dress-up, and Grandma cheerily offering in succession hugs, Belgian waffles, triple-decker cupcakes and a story at bedtime. Leijten depicts the domestic setting in soft, subtly modulated colors and outfits her figures (even, briefly, Kip) in full-bodied polka-dot–print house dresses. Grandma sports an extravagant triple bun atop her outsized oval head, plus spit curls that find visual echoes in Drool’s delicate auburn fuzz. The effect is entirely cozy, and when Drool’s parents do at last arrive to sweep her away, hardly is she in the car before she’s asking to come back. Readers and prereaders alike will be left smiling. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-24680-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2008

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A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

ROBOBABY

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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WAITING FOR BABY

One of a four-book series designed to help the very young prepare for new siblings, this title presents a toddler-and-mother pair (the latter heavily pregnant) as they read about new babies, sort hand-me-downs, buy new toys, visit the obstetrician and the sonographer, speculate and wait. Throughout, the child asks questions and makes exclamations with complete enthusiasm: “How big is the baby? What does it eat? I felt it move! Is it a boy or girl?” Fuller’s jolly pictures present a biracial family that thoroughly enjoys every moment together. It’s a bit oversimplified, but no one can complain about the positive message it conveys, appropriately, to its baby and toddler audience. The other titles in the New Baby series are My New Baby (ISBN: 978-1-84643-276-7), Look at Me! (ISBN: 978-1-84643-278-1) and You and Me (ISBN: 978-1-84643-277-4). (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84643-275-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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