A sweet story of acceptance for all those who are this, that, neither, either, and everything in between

READ REVIEW

NEITHER

“Once upon a time, there were two kinds: this and that”: blue bunnies and yellow birds, with no other options. Until one day, an unusual egg hatches something that’s a bit of both—it’s a bright green creature with ears and tail like a bunny’s on a body like a bird’s. An animal that’s both, or Neither, does not really fit in anywhere, not quite “rabbity” nor “birdy” enough. So Neither flies off for Somewhere Else and stumbles upon a friendly community with lots of other “neither” sorts. Anderson’s bright gouache illustrations depict fantastic, rainbow-hued creatures that don’t quite fit into any neat box, not even those of well-known mythical creatures. Wings, spots, unicorn horns, and beaks, in any combination, all are welcome in the Land of All. Overtly a celebration of nonbinary identities, this parable is well-suited for any shelf seeking positive diversity titles for preschoolers and early-elementary students. Reminiscent of other recent titles in the same vein (Michael Hall’s Red, 2015, and Andrea J. Loney and Carmen Saldaña’s Bunnybear, 2017, are just two), this stands out for its accessibility to even very young read-aloud audiences.

A sweet story of acceptance for all those who are this, that, neither, either, and everything in between . (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-54769-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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