Here’s hoping these endearing giraffes will continue making plenty of amigos.

READ REVIEW

HOW ARE YOU? / ¿CÓMO ESTÁS?

Sometimes all it takes to make a friend is to say “Welcome! ¡Bienvenida!”

First introduced to this friendly pair of giraffes—one Spanish-speaking, the other Anglophone—in How Do You Say? / ¿Cómo se dice? (2016), readers now find them greeting an ostrich. After the initial “Welcome! ¡Bienvenida!” they move on to, “¿Cómo estás? How are you?”—but the ostrich doesn’t manage a response. “Are you shy? ¿Eres tímida?” they want to know. “No,” it responds, looking a little overwhelmed by their exuberance. Subsequent questions—“Are you hungry?…Are you tired?…Are you scared?…Annoyed?”—are met with the same “No.” Flopping onto their rears in exhaustion, they finally ask, “Then, how are you? ¡¿Entonces, cómo estás?!” Readers might be surprised by the answer: “I’m excited!… / …Because I have new amigos!” It looks like this ostrich is bilingual! Time to celebrate “¿Fiesta? Okay!” The limited text is complemented by illustrations portraying plenty of action. Making use of ample white space, Dominguez keeps the focus on the playful giraffes and their new friend. The dynamic illustrations—created with pencil and tissue paper on illustration board then digitally colorized—depict the three in bold outlines and a limited earth-tone palette.

Here’s hoping these endearing giraffes will continue making plenty of amigos. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-12686-3

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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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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