Combine this with a kissing hand, and children will be ready to set off on their own to explore the world, safe in the...

READ REVIEW

THAT'S ME LOVING YOU

Rosenthal describes the love an adult caregiver has for a child as expressed through nature metaphors.

Most of White’s striking artwork—highly detailed, retro-style designs—highlights a single child on each page, so Rosenthal’s verses about an adult always being close by are comforting. “That shimmering star? / That’s me winking at you,” and “That inviting ocean? / That’s me waving at you.” The adult narrator raves about a child with a thunderclap, a mosquito’s buzz is “me bugging you,” and the pouring rain is “me missing you.” The first two spreads feature the same brown-haired, light-skinned boy setting out independently, as children are meant to do. (The pages in between feature children of both genders in a multitude of skin and hair colors.) He is joined in two of the last three spreads by his similar-looking mother: “That feeling you always have in your heart? / That’s me loving you. // Whether together… // Or apart.” From the wind to a butterfly to a cloud, the breeze, and a star, Rosenthal has covered most of the natural world, so no matter where children wander, there are reminders of their loving adults everywhere.

Combine this with a kissing hand, and children will be ready to set off on their own to explore the world, safe in the knowledge that they are loved. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93238-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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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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