Warmhearted and sensitive, although it could be more complete.



In this debut picture book, a mother reassures her child about her own illness.

Slade tells a story of a sick mother helping her young son understand her treatment. She tells him that “Mummy” must visit many doctors; she’ll be tired and might be sad or angry; she’ll sometimes stay overnight at the hospital; and she’ll look different. But in each case, the narrator assures her child that she loves him and that when she’s better, they’ll have fun. “I love you,” she repeats, and concludes, “I know you still love me”—even if he feels sad or angry, too. In Majan’s (Aidyn the Magical Frangipani Tree, 2018, etc.) somewhat stiffly posed illustrations of a white family, the mother appears fairly robust, even when her hair has fallen out. One nice feature is how the boy’s stuffed bunny appears in every scene and often echoes his moods. Another good idea is how the mother offers alternatives; for instance, although Mummy can’t play on the floor, she can still read books in a chair. The book’s affectionate tone is evident, and Slade echoes professional advice about expressing hope and soothing fears. However, Slade doesn’t have the mother use the word “cancer” or reassure the child that the illness isn’t his fault, which experts also recommend.

Warmhearted and sensitive, although it could be more complete.

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984504-73-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: XlibrisAU

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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