PAPA, DO YOU LOVE ME?

A pendant and companion to this duo’s beloved Mama, Do You Love Me? (1991). While the gorgeous and glowing colors of the Maasai in Africa are very different from the Alaskan setting of the first book, the universality and beautiful emotional rhythms of the story remain the same. A boy asks his father the question of the title, and his father replies, “You came from your mama, whom I love, your grandpapas and grandmamas, whom I honor . . . You are my Tender Heart, and I love you.” The boy asks, how long, and what would you do if it were hot, and what if I was afraid, and the father responds each time in deep rumbling tenderness: He will love his boy as long as “the Serengeti rolls to the sky,” he would stretch out his blanket for shade, he would hold his son. The pictures are rich in tone and hue, expressive line and expansive gesture: Repeated motifs of textile and bead patterns, wild animal groups and a splendid curvilinear tree echo and support the text. Sure to be another bestseller. (glossary) (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-8118-4265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2005

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CARPENTER'S HELPER

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story.

A home-renovation project is interrupted by a family of wrens, allowing a young girl an up-close glimpse of nature.

Renata and her father enjoy working on upgrading their bathroom, installing a clawfoot bathtub, and cutting a space for a new window. One warm night, after Papi leaves the window space open, two wrens begin making a nest in the bathroom. Rather than seeing it as an unfortunate delay of their project, Renata and Papi decide to let the avian carpenters continue their work. Renata witnesses the birth of four chicks as their rosy eggs split open “like coats that are suddenly too small.” Renata finds at a crucial moment that she can help the chicks learn to fly, even with the bittersweet knowledge that it will only hasten their exits from her life. Rosen uses lively language and well-chosen details to move the story of the baby birds forward. The text suggests the strong bond built by this Afro-Latinx father and daughter with their ongoing project without needing to point it out explicitly, a light touch in a picture book full of delicate, well-drawn moments and precise wording. Garoche’s drawings are impressively detailed, from the nest’s many small bits to the developing first feathers on the chicks and the wall smudges and exposed wiring of the renovation. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12320-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

BECAUSE YOUR DADDY LOVES YOU

Give this child’s-eye view of a day at the beach with an attentive father high marks for coziness: “When your ball blows across the sand and into the ocean and starts to drift away, your daddy could say, Didn’t I tell you not to play too close to the waves? But he doesn’t. He wades out into the cold water. And he brings your ball back to the beach and plays roll and catch with you.” Alley depicts a moppet and her relaxed-looking dad (to all appearances a single parent) in informally drawn beach and domestic settings: playing together, snuggling up on the sofa and finally hugging each other goodnight. The third-person voice is a bit distancing, but it makes the togetherness less treacly, and Dad’s mix of love and competence is less insulting, to parents and children both, than Douglas Wood’s What Dads Can’t Do (2000), illus by Doug Cushman. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 23, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-00361-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2005

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