An excellent bedtime choice that promotes a timeless closeness between parent and child.

YOUR NURSERY IS AN EVERYWHERE

A rhyming love song imagines the future of a baby in this picture book.

Sitting in a rocking chair with an infant, the narrator of the poem envisions the child’s wishes: “I gaze into your twinkling eyes / and pray they all come true.” As both the parent and baby drift off to sleep, the nursery seems to open beyond its walls, revealing a future world where the child meets farmyard animals, sails on the ocean, enjoys the beach, climbs trees, makes snow ice cream, and finally goes to school. Some of the activities are performed alone as the child gains independence while others are special times shared with the parent. But as all of those things are considered, the narrator confesses that the nursery is the “onlywhere” to be. Bullman’s stanzas flow smoothly in both rhyme and scansion. On some pages, the choice to insert words in the images, such as crooked over mountaintops or curved along a sidewalk, makes the phrases more difficult to decipher, especially for newly independent readers. The challenging vocabulary (splendors, sparkling morn) and the theme of fleeting childhood seem designed for adults to read the tale aloud to young ones. Lap readers will enjoy McAfee’s bright watercolors, which feature characters with varied skin tones (the parent and child both present as White). Despite the frequently cheerful events, the tone is intentionally subdued, mimicking a lullaby.

An excellent bedtime choice that promotes a timeless closeness between parent and child.

Pub Date: April 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-950169-41-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Whale Press

Review Posted Online: March 22, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 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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