A nicely illustrated tale that skillfully offers an opportunity for parents and children to connect.


A boy who refuses to wear shoes gets in a sticky situation in this picture book.

As his father mows the lawn, a White boy named Greyson plays. When his shoes become bothersome, Greyson flings them off. Dad instructs him to put them back on to avoid stepping in dog poo. But the footwear causes Greyson to “run slower,” so he takes them off again. Dad is mad; he wraps the shoes on his son’s feet with tape to keep them on. Greyson gets upset and removes his hat and shirt, which Dad tapes back on, too. Soon, things get carried away. Dad, who has “the tape…tight in his hand, / Attached… / By a long sticky band,” starts laughing, falls, and rolls “down on the grass / And out of control.” Soon, father and son are stuck together, bound by tape. Greyson notes: “The two of us / Were jiggling and wiggling.” Later, they giggle about the mishap. Although many readers and parents will relate to the silly scenario, the story depicts a neurodivergent child and his father. Elliott, a retired pediatrician, dedicates the book to her grandson Greyson, who has autism. In a simple rhyme scheme, she recounts a parent’s frustration while emphasizing communication, patience, and understanding. Featuring bright outdoor scenes with lovely blue sky backdrops, Costello’s painted images are simple but charming. Readers will love the playful scenes, including when Greyson bounces in the grass.

A nicely illustrated tale that skillfully offers an opportunity for parents and children to connect.

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-52-558887-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.


Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.


Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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