A mild, recognizable adventure for toddlers.

READ REVIEW

THE BIG BALLOON

From the Pip and Posy series

Bright, brief, undeniably cute but still rather bland, Pip and Posy’s (The Scary Monster, 2012, etc.) third adventure involves a mishap with a red balloon.

Vibrant gouache hues paint the everyday world of these two animal friends. “Pip had a…balloon of his very own. He liked it a lot.” He shows it to Posy, and off they go on a walk. As they admire toys in a store window, “by mistake, Pip let the balloon go!” They chase after it until it pops on a sharp tree branch in the park. Pip is crushed: “He cried and cried and cried.” Toddlers and preschoolers will relate to Pip’s unfortunate turn of events and his ensuing tears. When Posy has the inspired idea to blow bubbles, Pip emerges from his misery and has some fun; they do not mind when they pop, “because that’s what bubbles are supposed to do!” Simple text constructed with a controlled vocabulary and presented in a large font may make this a decent choice for new readers as well as a read-aloud for toddlers, even though the relative lack of story and pat ending limit its overall appeal.

A mild, recognizable adventure for toddlers. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6372-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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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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Banal affirmation buoyed by charming illustrations.

I BELIEVE I CAN

Diversity is the face of this picture book designed to inspire confidence in children.

Fans of Byers and Bobo’s I Am Enough (2018) will enjoy this book that comes with a universal message of self-acceptance. A line of children practices ballet at the barre; refreshingly, two of the four are visibly (and adorably) pudgy. Another group tends a couple of raised beds; one of them wears hijab. Two more children coax a trepidatious friend down a steep slide. Further images, of children pretending to be pirates, dragons, mimes, playing superhero and soccer, and cooking, are equally endearing, but unfortunately they don’t add enough heft to set the book apart from other empowerment books for children. Though the illustrations shine, the text remains pedagogic and bland. Clichés abound: “When I believe in myself, there’s simply nothing I can’t do”; “Sometimes I am right, and sometimes I am wrong. / But even when I make mistakes, I learn from them to make me strong.” The inclusion of children with varying abilities, religions, genders, body types, and racial presentations creates an inviting tone that makes the book palatable. It’s hard to argue with the titular sentiment, but this is not the only book of its ilk on the shelf.

Banal affirmation buoyed by charming illustrations. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-266713-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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