Not exactly a creative leap, leap, leap for Hines, but a broadly popular topic enhanced with light brushes of fact, wrapped...

I AM A TYRANNOSAURUS

Second time’s also a charm for this close cousin to I Am a Backhoe (2010).

In this iteration it’s a blond, rather than dark-haired, lad imagining himself—and posing expressively in the digitally drawn and painted pictures—as a sequence of dinosaurs. He pretends to be five named dinos and a hatchling in succession before his mother (rather than father, as previously) appears. (The dinos represented are, in addition to the titular T. Rex, velociraptor, brachiosaurus, triceratops and pteranodon.) He dubs his mother “Maiasaurus” (“That means… / good mother lizard,” the child explains) before cuddling into her lap. Featuring realistic, sharply defined figures of boy and dinosaurs floating above rich washes of color, the art reflects both the imaginative play’s exuberance and the narrative’s patterned simplicity: “I’m not so big, with a stiff tail and little wings, but I run fast and leap, leap, leap. I am… / a velociraptor.”

Not exactly a creative leap, leap, leap for Hines, but a broadly popular topic enhanced with light brushes of fact, wrapped in family warmth and presented in a comfortably formulaic way. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-413-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011

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It’s nothing new, but it’s also clearly heartfelt.

LOVE YOU MORE

A love song from parents to their child.

This title will seem quite similar to the many others about parents’ deep love for their children. The text is wholly composed of first-person declarations of parental love, and it’s juxtaposed with illustrations of the child with one or both parents. It’s not always clear who the “I” speaking is, and there are a few pages that instead use “we.” Most sentences begin with “I love you more” phrasing to communicate that nothing could undermine parental love: “I love you more than all the sleepless nights…and all the early, tired mornings.” The accompanying pictures depict the child as a baby with weary parents. Later spreads show the child growing up, and the phrasing shifts away from the challenges of parenting to its joys and to attempts to quantify love: “I love you more than all the blades of grass at the park…and all the soccer that we played.” Throughout, Bell’s illustrations use pastel tones and soft visual texture to depict cozy, wholesome scenes that are largely redundant of the straightforward, warm text. They feature a brown-haired family with a mother, father, and child, who all appear to be white (though the father has skin that’s a shade darker than the others’).

It’s nothing new, but it’s also clearly heartfelt. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0652-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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WITH ALL MY HEART

A caregiving bear shares with its cub how love has defined their relationship from the first moment and through the years as the cub has grown.

With rhymes and a steady rhythm that are less singsong-y than similar books, Stansbie seems to have hit a sweet spot for this offering on the I-love-you-always shelf. Readers follow the adult and child as they share special moments together—a sunset, a splash in a pond, climbing a tree, a snuggle—and the adult tells the child that the love it feels has only grown. Stansbie also takes care not to put promises in the adult bear’s mouth that can’t be delivered, acknowledging that physical proximity is not always possible: “Wherever you are, / even when we’re apart… // I’ll love you forever / with all of my heart.” The large trim size helps the sweet illustrations shine; their emphasis is on the close relationship between parent and child. Shaped peekaboo windows offer glimpses of preceding and succeeding pages, images and text carefully placed to work whatever the context. While the die cuts on the interior pages will not hold up to rough handling, they do add whimsy and delight to the book as a whole: “And now that you’re bigger, / you make my heart sing. / My / beautiful / wonderful / magical / thing.” Those last three adjectives are positioned in leaf-shaped cutouts, the turn of the page revealing the roly-poly cub in a pile of leaves, three formed by the die-cuts. Opposite, three vignettes show the cub appreciating the “beautiful,” the “wonderful,” and the “magical.”

Sweet. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68412-910-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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