Engaging and attractive for young bedtime deniers.



A toddler’s resistance to bedtime is cleverly portrayed in this rhyming, repetitive plea.

A mother’s announcement prompts her precocious tot to offer alternatives while finding different hiding places. “It’s time for bed, sleepyhead. / No, no, take RED instead.” Hiding under a blanket on the couch is the nameless child sitting with Red, the family’s Irish setter. As the mother, a white woman dressed in pajamas, robe, and bunny slippers, continues to look for, find, and coax her little one to bed, the persistent child continues to hide and offer up anyone in his white family or anything that rhymes with bed: Seb, the baby; Fred, the cat; older brother, Jedd; Zed, a toy astronaut; Ned, the elderly white neighbor; and Ed, the goldfish. But with the presentation of Ted, his beloved teddy bear, the mother’s suggestion that Ted will be lonely stimulates some thinking and acquiescence. Bedtime for this youngster is recounted in a predictable pattern, with “It’s time for bed, sleepyhead” on the left page and a different name inserted in the consistent response on the right. Soft graphite-and-watercolor sketches supply indispensable, wordless information with visual clues for each hiding place. Beneath the curtain, as the mother pulls it aside, the child’s slippers lie on the floor in the left-hand image; on the right, from the outside view, the child can be seen crouching on the windowsill with Fred. Children will read the pictures and easily begin chiming in on the recurring text.

Engaging and attractive for young bedtime deniers. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61067-618-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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This book wants to be feminist.

Princess Penelope Pineapple, illustrated as a white girl with dark hair and eyes, is the Amelia Bloomer of the Pineapple Kingdom. She has dresses, but she prefers to wear pants as she engages in myriad activities ranging from yoga to gardening, from piloting a plane to hosting a science fair. When it’s time for the Pineapple Ball, she imagines wearing a sparkly pants outfit, but she worries about Grand Lady Busyboots’ disapproval: “ ‘Pants have no place on a lady!’ she’d say. / ‘That’s how it has been, and that’s how it shall stay.’ ” In a moment of seeming dissonance between the text and art, Penny seems to resolve to wear pants, but then she shows up to the ball in a gown. This apparent contradiction is resolved when the family cat, Miss Fussywiggles, falls from the castle into the moat and Princess Penelope saves her—after stripping off her gown to reveal pink, flowered swimming trunks and a matching top. Impressed, Grand Lady Busyboots resolves that princesses can henceforth wear whatever they wish. While seeing a princess as savior rather than damsel in distress may still seem novel, it seems a stretch to cast pants-wearing as a broadly contested contemporary American feminist issue. Guthrie and Oppenheim’s unimaginative, singsong rhyme is matched in subtlety by Byrne’s bright illustrations.

Skip it . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2603-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Nevertheless, children will enjoy the whimsical scenes, and adult mavens of children’s literature will appreciate and...



It’s a treasure trove: one dozen previously unpublished lyrical songs illustrated by the likes of Jonathan Bean, Carin Berger and Melissa Sweet.

In an introduction, estate editor Amy Gary explains how she found a trunk in Brown’s sister’s barn filled with unpublished manuscripts with Brown’s handwritten notes along with musical scores of her words. They were written in 1952, the last year of her life, when she was traveling in France for a book tour and under contract to create songs for a new children’s record company. Brown’s intent was to capture the spirit of a child’s world in her songs as she had done with her stories. As the opening to “The Secret Song” demonstrates, the simple rhymes have Brown’s trademark charm: “Who saw the petals / Drop from the rose? / ‘I,’ said the spider. / ‘But nobody knows.’ / Who saw the sunset / Flash on a bird? / ‘I,’ said the fish. / ‘But nobody heard.’ ” Each song is presented on one double-page spread, each illustrated by a different artist (uncredited until an ending recap), in a rather staid book design that does not rise to meet the buoyancy of the lyrics.

Nevertheless, children will enjoy the whimsical scenes, and adult mavens of children’s literature will appreciate and delight in the background of the discovery. (CD) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4549-0446-5

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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