1 dad + 10 tykes = sublime silliness.

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THE DAD WITH 10 CHILDREN

From the Big Picture Books series

A single dad blessed (or cursed—mileage may vary) with 10 very young children builds a boat and sails away.

The unnamed dad is capable beyond belief, preparing 10 breakfasts and then wrangling his wriggling issue into 10 shirts, 10 pairs of pants, 20 socks, and 20 shoes before dropping them off at school. He reverses his routine at night, closing the day with one story and 10 kisses—and then going to his workshop, where he is secretly building a boat. The tots are thrilled when it's finished but dismayed when Dad announces his intention of leaving them with Grandma while he sails solo "for at least 10 months." It only takes 10 days, though, before he gets lonely and returns to pack them all aboard for a family adventure. Guettier illustrates her daffy tale with bright blobs of gouache and thick, black lines. The dad and his kids are all Caucasian, the little ones mostly bald with little kewpie curls, and the illustrations take full advantage of the lack of individuation; they resemble a swarm more than children. The sheer looniness of the premise—the 10 children are all apparently the same age, and there's no hint of a mom—will beguile young and old, and parents will feel Dad's paternal pain and passion with wry amusement.

1 dad + 10 tykes = sublime silliness. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-909645-84-4

Page Count: 42

Publisher: Scribblers/Sterling

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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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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A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary.

MY FIRST BUSY BOOK

From the World of Eric Carle series

The latest addition to the World of Eric Carle is proof that the Wilder Award–winning picture-book creator knows what appeals to children.

This board book is both developmentally appropriate and aesthetically pleasing—perfect for toddlers. In a sturdy, oversize (10 1/2 inches square) format, Carle recycles iconic images from his vast canon to introduce shapes, colors, numbers, animals, and sounds. The flower on the cover is almost (but not quite) identical to the flower that grows from The Tiny Seed (1970). Seeing the animals throughout the pages is like recognizing old friends. But Carle and the book’s designer, Hannah Frece, put these familiar images to fresh uses to create a logical, accessible, and harmonious concept book. Although billed as a “busy book,” it is not hyperactive, using just five or six images per spread. From the mirror that lights up the sun on the cover to the touch-and-feel inserts on the page about animals to the single flap that hides a mouse from a cat, the tactile elements have been chosen with intention instead of just as gimmicks. On other pages, foils and textures are subtle, with many barely raised images that invite tracing.

A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5791-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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