An intergenerational story with a lot of heart and a few missteps.

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SILAS' SEVEN GRANDPARENTS

Is there such a thing as too much grandparental love?

While the text never explains how Silas, a boy with light skin and brown hair, came to have seven adoring grandparents, have them he does. Nor does the text specify race, but somewhat problematic illustrations indicate that they are a multiracial group of elders. Nana and Oma appear to be white, while Gramma appears black, Opa has light-brown skin (or maybe a tan), Papa’s eyes are not dots like the others’ but lines, perhaps a stereotypical indication that he is Asian, and Granny and Grandad are visually depicted as Native through what some may regard as stereotypical Western dress embellished with feathers and turquoise and positioning near totem poles. They also gift him a dream catcher and take him “to a pow wow and go fishing and canoeing” while the other grandparents offer gifts and activities absent of such broad cultural significance or stereotype. Although Silas loves them dearly, the seven grandparents’ attention can be overwhelming, and when his parents go away he knows he can’t take them all up on their offers to stay with them in their respective homes. The solution? They come stay with him at his house and after busy days, he tucks them in to sleep (though why the closing illustration has them sleeping on the porch is a mystery).

An intergenerational story with a lot of heart and a few missteps. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1640-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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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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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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