This contemplative blend of philosophy, science, and whimsy will get readers thinking.

READ REVIEW

LOOKING FOR YESTERDAY

A young tot wishes to relive a favorite day instead of looking ahead toward new ones.

“Yesterday was the best day,” declares the child narrator (a youngster with close-cropped brown hair, white skin, and thin-rimmed glasses). “I wish I could go back and do it all again.” The gentle background shows a carnival adventure with Granddad—including a river of lemonade, a towering mountain of ice cream, and a carousel with animals that seemingly come to life. But how does one go back in time? The child muses about superluminal speed (“one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second…over seven and a half times counterclockwise / around the earth every second…to get back to yesterday”), time machines, and wormholes. But none of that seems feasible. Granddad has a different perspective. He opens a photo album to show all of his favorite days—and there are many, not just one. The past can contain happy memories, but the present is just waiting to turn into something fun. Jay limits her signature crackle glaze to only the nostalgic parts, but all of the oil paint backdrops brim with nimble details, her inclusion of the surreal giving some paintings a gently Bosch-like air.

This contemplative blend of philosophy, science, and whimsy will get readers thinking. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0421-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

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 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures.

PIPPA'S NIGHT PARADE

Pippa conquers a fear of the creatures that emerge from her storybooks at night.

Pippa’s “wonderfully wild imagination” can sometimes run “a little TOO wild.” During the day, she wears her “armor” and is a force to be reckoned with. But in bed at night, Pippa worries about “villains and monsters and beasts.” Sharp-toothed and -taloned shadows, dragons, and pirates emerge from her storybooks like genies from a bottle, just to scare her. Pippa flees to her parents’ room only to be brought back time and again. Finally, Pippa decides that she “needs a plan” to “get rid of them once and for all.” She decides to slip a written invitation into every book, and that night, they all come out. She tries subduing them with a lasso, an eye patch, and a sombrero, but she is defeated. Next, she tries “sashes and sequins and bows,” throwing the fashion pieces on the monsters, who…“begin to pose and primp and preen.” After that success, their fashion show becomes a nightly ritual. Clever Pippa’s transformation from scared victim of her own imagination to leader of the monster pack feels fairly sudden, but it’s satisfying nonetheless. The cartoony illustrations effectively use dynamic strokes, shadow, and light to capture action on the page and the feeling of Pippa's fears taking over her real space. Pippa and her parents are brown-skinned with curls of various textures.

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9300-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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