This upbeat explication should prove both entertaining and instructive.

READ REVIEW

KAYLA AND KUGEL

From the Kayla and Kugel series

Kayla sets the table for Shabbat while she manages to avert numerous mishaps caused by her overeager assistant, the mischievous puppy Kugel.

Kayla patiently allows Kugel to “help” by pulling on the tablecloth, grabbing the Kiddush cup, and balancing the salt shaker on his nose while she succinctly narrates all the steps to setting a proper Shabbat table. The easy interplay of pictures and text allows children to read the illustrations for some of the unsaid details that telegraph Kugel’s next possible calamity. They will be amused by the proximity of disaster for each of his little upsets, such as dirtying the table with his paw prints or trying to eat the flowers. When finished, Kugel’s sadness helps Kayla realize that they are not ready for a “Shabbat Shalom” until the whole family gathers around the table. Cheerfully amusing, brightly colored illustrations depict the rambunctiousness of an adorable and endearing young puppy. Beyond the plot, the larger message of the importance of family to the weekly celebration is effectively presented to the toddler set.

This upbeat explication should prove both entertaining and instructive. (Picture book/religion. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-68115-502-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Apples & Honey Press

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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A sweet, colorful start for a Christian spiritual journey.

BECAUSE GOD LOVES ME

A cheery child gives thanks to God.

“When I see a rainbow / High up in the sky / I say a little prayer of thanks, / And here’s the reason why: // Because God loves me!” This board book’s focus is the comforting notion that God loves all his children, and no matter what, he will always look out for them. The text follows an ABCB rhyme scheme, breaking after every stanza to repeat the phrase “Because God loves me!” The small, light-skinned child has spiky brown hair and wears a dress; both the child and a chubby accompanying dog are appealingly illustrated with a bright, simple color palette and scratchy lines that appear to have been made with colored pencil. God is the only name given for the deity, implying a primarily Christian audience. The book’s message is clear, and its construction is sturdy, suiting this well to parents who are beginning to have conversations with their little readers regarding their beliefs.

A sweet, colorful start for a Christian spiritual journey. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58925-237-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2016

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Adult readers wishing to familiarize children with some of the Christian Bible stories will find greater satisfaction...

MY FIRST BIBLE STORIES

Nine stories taken from both the Old Testament and the New Testament are introduced to the youngest readers in this board book.

A child-friendly cover depicts Noah and his ark in bright, cartoony artwork and sets the tone for the greatly simplified stories presented inside. Creation is told in three lines that feel more like an introduction to the concept of God than a Bible story. Brown-haired, olive-skinned Adam and Eve stand behind a bush surrounded by incongruous flora and fauna that include an elephant, a monkey, what looks like an Easter bunny, a palm tree, an apple tree, and daisies. Other Old Testament stories included are Noah’s Ark, Moses, and David and Goliath. These tales have been simplified to the point of near meaninglessness. The life of Jesus is told from his birth, moving on to his message of love and the multiplication of the loaves and fish, and ending with his resurrection and ascension. Children old enough to be told these stories are also capable of understanding more than this book presents. If they cannot, one wonders if perhaps they are too young for the stories.

Adult readers wishing to familiarize children with some of the Christian Bible stories will find greater satisfaction looking elsewhere. (Board book/religion. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58925-222-6

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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