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A sweet baby shower book for religious parents.

Pearson’s popular poem gets complementary illustrations.

The short poem talks of a mother’s wish that her day-old child could understand her words so she could tell them all about God. “My day-old child lay in my arms. / In a whisper, lips to ear— / I said, ‘Oh, dear one, how I wish—’ / ‘I wish that you could hear.’ ” And as she whispers this wish to her child, she sees a light in the babe’s eyes and has the thought that perhaps the child similarly wishes for language so that they could tell their mother, before they forget, all about God: “I left God just yesterday.” Egbert’s sweet art keeps the focus on four separate mother-baby pairs that repeat in turn throughout the book. Three of these mothers seem to have opposite-sex partners, and one of these pairings is an interracial one; the fourth could be interpreted as one part of an interracial same-sex couple. All four, along with the various family members, are racially diverse. Figures are outlined definitively but with a soft, smudgy line that welcomes readers in. The soft colors and clear love seen on all the faces make this an attractive package for parents who are waiting to share the love of God with their little ones, though there is little here that will appeal to those little ones directly.

A sweet baby shower book for religious parents. (Picture book. 3-6, adult)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4236-5533-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Gibbs Smith

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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From the How To Catch… series

A syrupy tribute to mothers that may please fans of the series.

Another creature is on the loose.

The long-running series continues its successful formula with this Hallmark card of a book, which features bright illustrations and catchy rhymes. This time, the mythical creature the racially diverse children set out to catch is an absent mom who does it all (lists of descriptors include the words banker, caregiver, nurse, doctor, driver, chef, housekeeper, teacher, entertainer, playmate, laundry service, problem solver, handywoman, cleaner, and alarm clock) but doesn’t seem to have a job outside the home and is inexplicably a dinosaur. As the children prepare gifts and a meal for her, the text becomes an ode to the skills the Mamasaurus possesses (“Day or night she’s always there. / She meets every wish and need”) and values she instills (“Sometimes life can mean hard work,” “kindness matters,” and “what counts is doing your best”). This well-intentioned selection veers into cliche generously sprinkled with saccharine but manages to redeem itself with its appreciation for mothers and all that they may do. Endpapers include a “to” and “from” page framed in a heart, as well as a page where young gift givers or recipients can draw a picture of their Mamasaurus.

A syrupy tribute to mothers that may please fans of the series. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 5, 2024

ISBN: 9781728274300

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2024

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