A sweet, honest parenthood tale.

DADDY'S WISH

What to expect when you’re expecting, in epistolary, picture-book form.

In playful rhyme, a father writes to his daughter about what it means to be a man raising a young girl. First comes the excitement of knowing that the mother is pregnant, which the expectant parents gladly announce to the world. But when Mommy asks, “Daddy, what do you hope the baby will be?” he’s unsure how to respond. At first, he imagines that he wants a boy, but then he’s cheered by the prospect of raising a girl—although he doesn’t quite know what that would entail. Nevertheless, he believes that he “could learn so much” and that “it would surely change his world.” Smith’s debut is honest about expectant fathers’ anticipation, noting how Christmas loses its luster for Daddy without a baby to share it with. While he waits, he fantasizes about having tea parties or going to the park with his daughter. Debut illustrator Duffy’s images are soft, colorful, and cartoonish—and they often include bits of humor, as when a picture of a fetus puzzling over a map pairs with “you were on the way.” Some of Daddy’s musings could have been less gender normative, but as a love letter from father to daughter, this book is sure to delight.

A sweet, honest parenthood tale.

Pub Date: May 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5255-4174-2

Page Count: 52

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached.

EXTRA YARN

A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn.

Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn, she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion.

A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195338-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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