This celebration of the “baby burrito” is a playful and loving take on life in a Latinx family.

I LOVE YOU, BABY BURRITO

Two doting parents bring their newborn home in this sweet story told with Spanish phrases.

An excellent title for anyone who wants to convey the love and excitement of being a new parent, this bilingual picture book captures the joy of the first few days at home. The house is decorated with banners and balloons, giving the illustrations a celebratory feel. A stuffed llama, toys, and a bassinet have been prepared in anticipation of the birth, and the green and yellow colors in the nursery make it easy for any child to imagine themselves the baby arriving home in the story. The parents, a pale-skinned, redheaded mother and a brown-skinned, dark-haired father, hold their new arrival, then watch the baby in the bassinet until fussing begins. After feeding, they calm their babe by partaking in the universal act of swaddling the tot tightly in a blanket. Accompanying illustrations that show how the baby’s arms and legs are contained, with only the face peeking out, in a bundle that looks like a burrito, the text deftly interjects Spanish words while conveying their meaning through the artwork. A sense of kindness and safety permeates the double-spread depictions of the parents and their child, resulting in a calm and peaceful tale of family love. A Spanish glossary and pronunciation guide follow this clever and heartwarming story. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-18-inch double-page spreads reviewed at 40.8% of actual size.)

This celebration of the “baby burrito” is a playful and loving take on life in a Latinx family. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-23109-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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