The smart and sneaky puss wins the day.

With a wildly mixed-up list of chores, will the house ever get cleaned?

Grandma is on her way over, and the house is a mess. Using colorful magnetic letters on the refrigerator, Daddy—one of two dark-skinned fathers—makes a to-do list that consists of mopping the floor, scrubbing the dishes, vacuuming the rug, feeding the fish, mowing the lawn, sweeping the mat, rocking the baby, and bathing the cat. That last instruction gets the attention of the marmalade-colored feline, whose ears perk up. In the next spread, readers see a paw rearranging the letters on the refrigerator, which results in utter confusion for the family—and subsequent slapstick adventures. Bobby rocks the rug; Dad attempts to mow the cat; and Sarah mops the baby. Daddy tries his best to get the chores in order, but the kitty continues to wreak havoc at the refrigerator. More than once, confused Daddy returns to the list but continues to dole out chores. In the end, the lucky cat merely gets a cuddle (no baths), and Grandma visits a clean house. McGinty’s jaunty, rhyming text makes for a fun read-aloud, but Roberts’ brightly colored, energetic illustrations are the real attraction. The increasingly frantic family, with light to dark skin tones, doing silly tasks from a muddled list will incite giggles. (This book was reviewed digitally).

The smart and sneaky puss wins the day. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4521-4270-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021


Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015



A caregiving bear shares with its cub how love has defined their relationship from the first moment and through the years as the cub has grown.

With rhymes and a steady rhythm that are less singsong-y than similar books, Stansbie seems to have hit a sweet spot for this offering on the I-love-you-always shelf. Readers follow the adult and child as they share special moments together—a sunset, a splash in a pond, climbing a tree, a snuggle—and the adult tells the child that the love it feels has only grown. Stansbie also takes care not to put promises in the adult bear’s mouth that can’t be delivered, acknowledging that physical proximity is not always possible: “Wherever you are, / even when we’re apart… // I’ll love you forever / with all of my heart.” The large trim size helps the sweet illustrations shine; their emphasis is on the close relationship between parent and child. Shaped peekaboo windows offer glimpses of preceding and succeeding pages, images and text carefully placed to work whatever the context. While the die cuts on the interior pages will not hold up to rough handling, they do add whimsy and delight to the book as a whole: “And now that you’re bigger, / you make my heart sing. / My / beautiful / wonderful / magical / thing.” Those last three adjectives are positioned in leaf-shaped cutouts, the turn of the page revealing the roly-poly cub in a pile of leaves, three formed by the die-cuts. Opposite, three vignettes show the cub appreciating the “beautiful,” the “wonderful,” and the “magical.”

Sweet. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68412-910-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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