Pleasant and sentimental ponderings for new parents and children.

WORLD SO WIDE

A couple imagines the wonder-filled first moments of their newborn.

“Somewhere in the world, / the world so far, / the world so wide,” sits an orange house surrounded by verdant fields and wispy wildflowers. And in that house, “someone is the / youngest person alive.” What will they see first? Hear? Smell? Through direct address, McGhee explores these firsts. Perhaps it’ll be a “blanket and bunny, / toes and tummy” that they’ll touch first, or perhaps it’ll be “the arms of / someone warm.” One day when the child is grown, they might have a little one of their own who at one moment too will have been “the youngest person alive.” And as a parent, they’ll show their child “a life / that’s bright and true” and a “world [that] will feel / full of love.” With layers of textures—swaths of squiggles and lines—and a colorful palette, Alizadeh’s smudgily outlined illustrations bring a soft but bright energy to the author’s tender text. Scenes alternate between spreads of the family out in the expansive world with interior shots of cozy parent-child moments at home. Occasional close-ups set against minimal backgrounds highlight the love in a parent’s eyes as they connect with their child. The father is white and mother ambiguously tanner.

Pleasant and sentimental ponderings for new parents and children. (Picture book. 2-5, adult)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-0633-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 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 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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