A beautifully illustrated, uplifting tribute to Black girls and to the mothers who love them boundlessly.

DREAMS FOR A DAUGHTER

A Black mother’s wishes and dreams for her lively, bright-eyed, growing daughter.

Brought to life by Pinkney’s now-signature brushy, colorful illustrations with bold ink lines, this lyrical expression of hope opens with a mother holding her baby while the two gaze into each other’s eyes. The mother sees the ancestors looking back at her when she looks at her child. Impressed by her baby’s curiosity, the mother continues to support, love, and encourage her daughter as she takes her first steps, learns to bike, starts school, learns to read, and more. As the daughter develops strong self-confidence, the mother exhorts her to stand by her ideas and always speak truth. The mother expects her child to travel the world, and as she does so, to show kindness to others. The lines that often swirl around this brown-skinned girl suggest that she stays in perpetual motion, and the prominence of yellows, oranges, and reds that often accompany her image hint at her sunny disposition and positivity. When the mother can’t watch over her daughter, she is “trusting God / to keep Her eyes / on you.” In this illustration, a rayed, yellow celestial face with African features could be the sun or the mother or God—possibilities that may bring up interesting conversations about the worldview portrayed in this book. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 30.9% of actual size.)

A beautifully illustrated, uplifting tribute to Black girls and to the mothers who love them boundlessly. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5198-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 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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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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