MY GRANDMA IS COMING TO TOWN

This joyous story impressively invokes a toddler’s love for his distant Grandma. They have a very special relationship carried out primarily by phone. When the little narrator was a baby, he says, his Grandma came to visit and taught him the pat-a-cake rhyme. Then he could only say “Patta patta, rolla rolla.” Now they have a cherished ritual: “when Grandma calls on the phone, she still says, ‘Patta patta.’ ‘Rolla rolla,’ I say.” He points out that though grandma lives too far away to give him real kisses and hugs, “ . . . she puts lots of X kisses and O hugs in her letters.” So when Grandma writes that she is coming for a visit, he can hardly wait. When the day finally arrives, he is surprised to find that it feels so strange. She looks like grandma, but different, and though she offers a “Patta patta,” she sounds just a little wrong and too shy of her, he can’t bring himself to respond. The boy soon figures out what he needs to smooth the transition and with grandma sitting right next to him, he pretends to call her on the phone. It isn’t long before they are thoroughly enjoying the visit, this time with real hugs and kisses. For so many children whose favorite family members live far away, Hines (Whistling, below, etc.) handles this issue with style, never forgetting to give kids credit for solving problems. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-7636-1237-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2003

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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