WACKO

A young mouse shows Grandpa all of the skills he learns and the activities he loves to do throughout the first few years of life.

Grandson and Grandpa spend a lot of time together. From taking his first steps through eating porridge all by himself to learning to swim, the little mouse experiences all of it with his beloved grandfather. He not only shows Grandpa all the things he learns to do, but also all of the activities that bring him joy. Together the two of them dance, read about dinosaurs, and make art. All the while, readers see how proud the young mouse is of all of his accomplishments, and Grandpa reinforces this, telling him how appreciative he is to be present for all of the youngster’s childhood milestones. The title word, considered by many Americans a slur, is defined as “an old Australian expression which describes amazement and delight,” and Grandpa uses it often. Simple but colorful illustrations of these anthropomorphic mice make the book feel light and delightful. The abab rhyme scheme provides a musical element to the story, engaging readers. Typical age and gender assumptions depicted range from Grandpa’s naps and use of a cane to the grandson’s blue clothing and dinosaur books. From Down Under, a celebration of the uniqueness of the child-grandparent relationship. (Picture book. 3-6)

 

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-76036-073-3

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Starfish Bay

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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DONOVAN'S BIG DAY

It may be his mothers’ wedding day, but it’s Donovan’s big day in Newman’s (Heather Has Two Mommies, 1989, etc.) latest picture book about queer family life. Centered on the child’s experience and refreshingly eschewing reference to controversy, the book emerges as a celebration of not only Mommy’s and Mama’s mutual love but progress toward equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Readers, however, don't know immediately know why it is “a very BIG day” for Donovan or what the “very BIG job” is that he has to do. In his affectionate, humorous gouache paintings with digital finish, Dutton cleverly includes clues in the form of family pictures in an earlier spread set inside their home, and then a later spread shows Donovan in a suit and placing a “little white satin box that Aunt Jennifer gave him” into his pocket, hinting toward his role as ring bearer. But it’s not until the third-to-last spread that he stands with his parents and hands “one shiny gold ring to Mommy [and] one shiny gold ring to Mama.” He, of course, gets to kiss the brides on the last page, lending a happily-ever-after sensibility to the end of this story about a family's new beginning. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-332-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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