Nothing novel in this one, but babies will love knowing just what to do with it.

WHAT IS BABY GOING TO DO?

From the Flap Flap series

Match gear and garments with babies’ activities, hidden beneath each flap.

Each page in this board book asks readers to predict “What is baby going to do?” based on a description and a picture of baby in the described garb. A flip of the flap reveals the baby in the logical matching locale: going sledding, splashing in puddles, taking a bath. The text is simple and direct, the Q&A formula repeated with each page turn, the question always the same. Visually echoing the textual repetition, the illustrations follow a format. Each dressed-up baby is featured against a solid color background. All of the babies have enormous, round heads, and their minimalist facial features are the same; variations are seen in skin color and outfit. Every baby has a different skin tone, and a baby of color is featured on the cover. Perdomo makes use of swaths of simple, bright colors. Details are reserved for the space beneath the flap, showing family pictures on a dining room wall or tiny illustrated picture books. The layout of this book is familiar—a boon for little listeners, who will be able to manipulate the large, thick flaps with ease and who will enjoy the confidence that predictability provides. Companion title What Is Mommy Going to Do? follows the same patterned format.

Nothing novel in this one, but babies will love knowing just what to do with it. (Board book. 0-2.)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-71125-059-8

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Words & Pictures

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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