While others have done the trope better, both titles are passable parent-child love stories.

Various animal youngsters share what’s special about their mommies.

Hodgman’s prose describes each mother’s virtue in phrases that mix sentiment with simple descriptions. “My mommy is the most beautiful mommy in the world. / My mommy tucks me in at night.” The soft watercolor cartoons inconsistently place the critters in human or animal settings, but all of the characters wear clothes or accessories of some sort. Most of the scenes are sentimentally warm, as when the mama duck floats by while her duckling braves the water. Others don’t work quite so well, like a difficult-to-read image of an overly made-up ostrich mom and child gazing at each other in a bathroom mirror. The companion title, That’s My Daddy!, follows the same format with animal fathers, but Logan’s illustrations seem to indulge in a little more humor here. The daddy giraffe sports a necktie, and the woodpecker papa uses his beak to hammer in a nail. In both books, the gender roles are quite traditional. The moms teach cooking and wear aprons, and the dads use tools and go camping.

While others have done the trope better, both titles are passable parent-child love stories. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-645-3

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013



A joyful celebration.

Families in a variety of configurations play, dance, and celebrate together.

The rhymed verse, based on a song from the Noodle Loaf children’s podcast, declares that “Families belong / Together like a puzzle / Different-sized people / One big snuggle.” The accompanying image shows an interracial couple of caregivers (one with brown skin and one pale) cuddling with a pajama-clad toddler with light brown skin and surrounded by two cats and a dog. Subsequent pages show a wide array of families with members of many different racial presentations engaging in bike and bus rides, indoor dance parties, and more. In some, readers see only one caregiver: a father or a grandparent, perhaps. One same-sex couple with two children in tow are expecting another child. Smart’s illustrations are playful and expressive, curating the most joyful moments of family life. The verse, punctuated by the word together, frequently set in oversized font, is gently inclusive at its best but may trip up readers with its irregular rhythms. The song that inspired the book can be found on the Noodle Loaf website.

A joyful celebration. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22276-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020


From the Punderland series

Not a great choice for the youngest dinosaur lovers.

A board-book ode to parental love as old as the dinosaurs.

A line of text on the left of each spread reads like a dinosaur-themed valentine that a third grader might choose, with punishingly punny wordplay that incorporates dinosaur-related words. On the facing page a dinosaur pair—a baby and an adult—gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes against whimsical, pastel-hued prehistoric-ish backgrounds. In smaller print, in all caps, at the bottom of the left page is the scientific name for the dinosaur referenced by the text and picture followed by a helpful phonetic pronunciation guide. White-outlined footprints appear next to their names, though the white is sometimes difficult to see against the pastel pages. Ten of the best-known dinosaurs are included. Twisting the dinosaur names to fit the loving sentiments succeeds some of the time but more often results in tortured text, well beyond the understanding of the board book audience. The line accompanying two hugging velociraptors, for instance, is just confusing: “Wrap-TOR arms around me, / with you I’ll always stay.” Others are just plain clumsy: “I-wanna-GUANODON you kisses, / I truly just adore you.” Very young children, even those fascinated by dinosaurs, will not get it. Older dinosaur fans will be put off by the babyish format.

Not a great choice for the youngest dinosaur lovers. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2295-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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