Playful narration and amusing artwork will prompt readers to say, just like Edgar, “Again.” (Picture book. 2-6)

EDGAR'S SECOND WORD

Baby Edgar’s first word (“NO!”) drives his sister crazy, especially since she waited so long to hear it.

Curly-headed Hazel, eager to share books and playtime with her lump of a brother, shines as a refreshing foil to the snarling older sibling whose resentment simmers in so many picture books these days. Hazel’s failed attempts to play school, store, farm, (or even to squeeze the “squeaky-honky-quacky duck”) with little Edgar evoke empathy from readers and a stream of NO!s from the tiny (but mighty) tot. Hand lettering makes Edgar’s NO!s seem LOUD even to a silent reader. After a whole day of insistent negativity (screeching scenes shown on crisp white pages), she’s about ready to give up on brother bonding. Mother manages to smile through spilled cereal, botched bathtime and even a loud library run, and fluid ink-and-watercolor illustrations offer lots of optimistic springtime colors (greens, yellows, purples), as well as a serene matte finish. Plucky, pitch-perfect kid vernacular keeps the story upbeat too, full of silly run-on descriptors; Hazel hopes that Edgar goes from a “pointing, grunting watermelon” to a “not-no-saying lamb of a ram.” Exhausted by his own naysaying, Edgar finds himself settled on Hazel’s lap for a bedtime read—and offers a second word that finally brings them together.

Playful narration and amusing artwork will prompt readers to say, just like Edgar, “Again.” (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-547-68462-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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DONOVAN'S BIG DAY

It may be his mothers’ wedding day, but it’s Donovan’s big day in Newman’s (Heather Has Two Mommies, 1989, etc.) latest picture book about queer family life. Centered on the child’s experience and refreshingly eschewing reference to controversy, the book emerges as a celebration of not only Mommy’s and Mama’s mutual love but progress toward equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Readers, however, don't know immediately know why it is “a very BIG day” for Donovan or what the “very BIG job” is that he has to do. In his affectionate, humorous gouache paintings with digital finish, Dutton cleverly includes clues in the form of family pictures in an earlier spread set inside their home, and then a later spread shows Donovan in a suit and placing a “little white satin box that Aunt Jennifer gave him” into his pocket, hinting toward his role as ring bearer. But it’s not until the third-to-last spread that he stands with his parents and hands “one shiny gold ring to Mommy [and] one shiny gold ring to Mama.” He, of course, gets to kiss the brides on the last page, lending a happily-ever-after sensibility to the end of this story about a family's new beginning. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-332-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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