This treacle-sweet book feels like an extended greeting card.

TAKE HEART, MY CHILD

A MOTHER'S DREAM

A mother’s poem to her newborn child by Earhardt, one of FOX News Channel’s co-hosts of Fox & Friends, with the assistance of Cristaldi.

In a series of mostly quatrain stanzas, a mother encourages her child to dive into life and not lose heart at the roadblocks ahead. Unfortunately the poem is a never-ending succession of stale platitudes: “May you never grow tired / Of stretching your branches / Dare to be different / Don’t deny second chances” is followed, predictably, by “And when winter comes / And leaves fall and fade / Take heart, my child, / Don’t be afraid.” Likewise, the nominally freeing “May you strive to be happy / Change your course if you’re not / Embrace the world’s colors / Colors others forgot” is again followed by its predictable counterpart: “But if you grow lonely / Or stars disappear / Take heart, my child, / I will always be near.” Much of the imagery feels driven more by the need to fit scansion and rhyme than sense, as when the narrator describes dreaming “a love song / Near a grand deer ballet” (rhyming with “day”). Kim’s luminous watercolor-and-digital illustrations feature a dark-haired, light-skinned woman in ethereal surroundings, presumably the mother dreaming her hopes for her child. The child is also there at times, as is plenty of nature that goes hand in hand with the accompanying text. Beautiful illustrations, though, are not enough to breathe life into this well-meaning but trite poem.

This treacle-sweet book feels like an extended greeting card. (author’s note) (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6622-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 5, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

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Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse.

MEET THE BIGFEET

From the Yeti Files series , Vol. 1

It’s a Bigfeet family reunion!

Everyone’s favorite frosty, furry cryptid, the yeti, actually has a name: Blizz Richards. From his supersecret HQ in Nepal he keeps in touch with his fellow cryptids, all of whom have sworn an oath to keep themselves hidden. That’s not always easy, especially when there are cryptozoologists, like the nasty (but bumbling) George Vanquist, who are always trying to expose the secretive creatures. Vanquist got a picture of Blizz’s cousin Brian near his home in British Columbia, causing the mortified Brian to disappear entirely. When Blizz receives an invitation to a Bigfeet family reunion in Canada, he calls his buddies Alexander (one of Santa’s elves), Gunthar (a goblin) and Frank the Arctic fox to help him get ready. When they arrive in Canada, Brian is still nowhere to be seen. Can Blizz and his skunk ape and other sasquatch cousins find Brian, have the reunion and evade Vanquist? If anyone can, the Bigfeet clan can. Illustrator Sherry’s first volume in the Yeti Files is a fast and funny graphic-prose tale full of labeled pictures and comic-style panels. Those just starting chapter books may have some trouble with a few big words, but they’ll enjoy the big friendly monsters and immediately ask for the next tale—which looks to be about the Loch Ness monster.

Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-55617-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids.

MY LITTLE BRAVE GIRL

Little girls are given encouragement and assurance so they can meet the challenges of life as they move through the big, wide world.

Delicately soft watercolor-style art depicts naturalistic scenes with a diverse quintet of little girls portraying potential situations they will encounter, as noted by a narrative heavily dependent on a series of clichés. “The stars are high, and you can reach them,” it promises as three of the girls chase fireflies under a star-filled night sky. “Oceans run deep, and you will learn to swim,” it intones as one girl treads water and another leans over the edge of a boat to observe life on the ocean floor. “Your feet will take many steps, my brave little girl. / Let your heart lead the way.” Girls gingerly step across a brook before making their way through a meadow. The point of all these nebulous metaphors seems to be to inculcate in girls the independence, strength, and confidence they’ll need to succeed in their pursuits. Trying new things, such as foods, is a “delicious new adventure.” Though the quiet, gentle text is filled with uplifting words that parents will intuitively relate to or comprehend, the esoteric messages may be a bit sentimental and ambiguous for kids to understand or even connect to. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30072-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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