A good-night book that needs a bit more oomph in its ending in order to put it to bed.

READ REVIEW

YOU KNOW WHAT?

A loquacious child's chatter delays bedtime in this picture book from a Belgian publisher but by an American author.

It’s bedtime, but Oliver has a lot to say to his mother during his nighttime routine, starting at the very beginning when he says, “Mommy, you know what?...When I don’t flush the toilet, it smells stinky.” Mommy didn’t need this newsflash—she’s plugging her nose and pointing to the toilet and its stinky contents as she replies “Yes, I know.” This and the ensuing text is conveyed entirely in dialogue between mother and son, who appear to be of different races since Mommy has light skin and reddish-brown hair, while Oliver has darker skin and hair. None of his “You know what?” statements are particularly revelatory, rendering the text a slice-of-life depiction of one child’s bedtime routine. The ending is rushed, as a haggard Mommy looks at readers while hearing a final “Mommy! You know what?” The resolution to this final call comes, not with concluding text, but with a page turn to the endpapers showing Oliver fast asleep. While this provides a visual conclusion, the preceding text in its large type sets readers up for more. Readers will enjoy watching Oliver’s green toy T. Rex, which falls asleep along with him.

A good-night book that needs a bit more oomph in its ending in order to put it to bed. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60537-278-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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