An imaginative concept that falls down in execution.



In this French import, a cherubic cartoon baby peeks through the die-cut hole at the center of the book to don various personae through the page turns.

On the first spread, readers meet a baby wearing footie pajamas decorated with pink hearts. On subsequent pages, the little one's smiling face is seen as a heart, a fox and a dove, among others. The text invites grown-ups to bid their youngsters good night using endearments appropriate to the scene. A few of the richly colored, probably digitally created images are quite clever; as one page states "Good night, my pearl," the baby's round face appears as one bead on a necklace strand. A smattering of the other endearments and their cartoon depictions may have lost something in translation. English-speaking parents might find calling their child a "shrimp" slightly derogatory, and the appellation "sunshine" seems odd for a bedtime story. The pictures of a black fox, two amorphous brown "dumplings" and a cloud-shaped "sheep" with no neck or head may confuse young children. The companion title, Spoonful!, also incorporates a die cut through almost every page and invites children to feed various animals, family members and characters. In profile this time, the cartoon face that appears through the hole sports a gaping mouth, a bulbous nose and a tuft of black hair. While an inventive idea, the shape of the hole does not allow the child truly to spoon "feed" each character, and some of the transformations via the page turn are strange. Both titles have thinner-than-normal board pages and may not hold up to all the interaction they invite.

An imaginative concept that falls down in execution. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-547-89314-3

Page Count: 38

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...


With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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