Readers will love it to the moon and back.



Life is not fair on Earth, so Sophia runs away to the moon.

When young Sophia is put in timeout, she decides to head for the moon. Leaving a note for her mom, she boards a rocket with her cat, Mr. Wubbles. In letters home to her mom, Sophia shares all the great things about the moon: a new friend they’ve made, riding moonicorns, having no bedtime, and eating starlight soup. Her mom writes letters back, making subtle comments trying to convince Sophia to come home. She tells Sophia she’s making cookies, then she offers the cows that jump over the moon Sophia’s bed to sleep in, and finally she invites Grorg, a moon runaway, to have spaghetti and stay the night. Sophia eventually invites her mom to bring Grorg back to the moon, thinking he might be moonsick, leading to a happy reunion. Related exclusively in the series of letters between Sophia and her mom, this is a gentle, even adorable reminder for children that their parent still loves them even if they yell. Song’s illustrations, figures drawn with her characteristically thick, smudgy black line, add a bounty of extra details to the story, especially in the pictures of Sophia’s mom at home, with glimpses into Sophia’s room. The gentle, pastel colors of the moon add to the sweetness of this mother-daughter reconciliation story. Mom and daughter both have tan skin and straight, black hair; Sophia’s eyebrows are fabulously emphatic.

Readers will love it to the moon and back. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-02285-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion/LBYR

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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


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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Though it looks like a book for longed-for children, it’s really for their parents.


A poetic ode to women who became mothers despite the challenges they faced.

Whether navigating the roughest seas, crossing the hottest deserts, or pushing through painful brambles, the mothers in this book know their long, hard journeys were worth the effort. There might have been failure and doubt, but now that it’s all over, they know they’d “do it all over again. For you.” First-person narration expresses in metaphor the extraordinary lengths some mothers will go to achieve their dream of holding a child in their arms. Sentimental and flowery, the text is broad enough to apply to the journeys of many mothers—even though the text is gender neutral, the illustrations clearly center the mother’s experience. At times another figure, often male-presenting, is shown alongside a mother. Soft, jewel-toned illustrations peppered with textures depict families with a variety of skin tones and hair colors/textures. The assortment of mothers shown demonstrates the universality of the message, but it also contributes to the absence of a strong visual throughline. In the concluding author’s note, Serhant shares her personal struggle to conceive her child, which included fertility treatments and IVF. Ultimately, although the sentiment is lovely, the message is too abstract to be understood by children and will be better received and appreciated by parents.

Though it looks like a book for longed-for children, it’s really for their parents. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-17388-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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