Readers will love it to the moon and back.

LOVE, SOPHIA ON THE MOON

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.

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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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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