A charming, heartwarming story tailor-made for alleviating anxieties about becoming a big sister.

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THE NESTING QUILT

The impending arrival of a new baby has Maya reflecting that she and her family are nesting, “just like the birds.”

With everyone in the family busy getting ready, Maya needs a role. She has an idea: she’ll make a cozy nest of fabric. With Mama and Nana's help, Maya turns her drawing into a quilt. In the primary story, the present-tense narrative is set in quilted scraps on each page, foreshadowing Maya’s quilting. An inner story about Maya’s close bond with her Nana and the birds’ nests they've seen is presented as framed scrapbook pictures with inset information about the natural world. Mixed-media illustrations depict a warm home life brimming with crafts and creativity. The fabrics that make their way into the quilt (even Maya’s old pajamas) form the backgrounds of each spread as Maya learns to stitch the pieces together and the wonderfully diverse extended family waits for the baby. With a big smile on her face, Maya finally presents her new brother with the result of all of her effort, “a soft and cozy nest” just for him. This delightful book ends with clear instructions for any reader who might want to make a quilt, too, with an adult’s help.

A charming, heartwarming story tailor-made for alleviating anxieties about becoming a big sister. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-88448-418-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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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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Maybe these kids should try babysitting Santa.

HOW TO CATCH SANTA

From the How To... series

The creators of the bestselling How to Babysit a Grandpa (2012) and How to Babysit a Grandma (2014) continue their series with this story about a brother and sister who want to capture Santa on his annual visit to their home.

The children discuss improbable ideas for spotting or catching Santa, including a complicated sequence with notes to lure Santa up to their bedroom. They wait up for Santa, and a nighttime view of Santa and the reindeer on the neighborhood’s roofs makes his arrival seem imminent. Then, in a disappointing conclusion, the children fall asleep with no sign of Santa’s arrival. In the morning it’s clear Santa has been there, as the presents are under the tree and the cookies and carrots have been eaten. There is a trail of red glitter leading to the chimney from the letter the kids sent to Santa, but that’s the only surprise this story has to offer. Readers might be expecting some sort of exciting trap for Santa or some clever way the children get to meet him or ride in his sleigh. No…just a sprinkle of red glitter. Digitally produced illustration are bright and cheery, with cute kids and amusing details, but sharp-eyed readers will notice the decorated Christmas tree in the living room is inexplicably placed in four different locations on different pages.

Maybe these kids should try babysitting Santa. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-49839-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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