In its own simplistic, sexist way, a lighthearted bit of behavior modeling.


One morning the solitary Beast finds a big, egg-shaped surprise waiting on his doorstep.

“Please look after me” reads the taped-on note, and so Beast does—though nearly burying it in the garden, dropping it on the table, and letting it roll away down a mountain seems a rough-and-tumble sort of care. Fortunately, the resilient egg rolls right into a hospital, where Dr. Yoko, an “eggspert,” supplies the Beast with a checklist outlining a more responsible sort of care…and in due course, after much manual-reading and laying in of supplies, Beast has his world rocked by the arrival of little Baby Beast. Cue a new parenting-skills learning curve, but in no time Beast is deftly changing diapers, putting Baby Beast into a onesie, sharing a storybook, and tucking the hairy mini-me into bed. His reflection that sometimes “the biggest surprises are the best” then gets a punchline when, in the final scene, he finds two eggs on his doorstep. Beast makes a loving, model, enthusiastic single dad, but even younger readers are apt to wonder at his lack of curiosity about the egg’s origin, not to mention the total absence of mother Beast(s) in this scenario. Beast and Baby Beast are black, hairy haystacks with limbs, but along with lots of comfy domestic details, Judge tucks both light- and dark-skinned human figures into his simple cartoon illustrations.

In its own simplistic, sexist way, a lighthearted bit of behavior modeling. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-5512-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Andersen Press USA

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids.


Little girls are given encouragement and assurance so they can meet the challenges of life as they move through the big, wide world.

Delicately soft watercolor-style art depicts naturalistic scenes with a diverse quintet of little girls portraying potential situations they will encounter, as noted by a narrative heavily dependent on a series of clichés. “The stars are high, and you can reach them,” it promises as three of the girls chase fireflies under a star-filled night sky. “Oceans run deep, and you will learn to swim,” it intones as one girl treads water and another leans over the edge of a boat to observe life on the ocean floor. “Your feet will take many steps, my brave little girl. / Let your heart lead the way.” Girls gingerly step across a brook before making their way through a meadow. The point of all these nebulous metaphors seems to be to inculcate in girls the independence, strength, and confidence they’ll need to succeed in their pursuits. Trying new things, such as foods, is a “delicious new adventure.” Though the quiet, gentle text is filled with uplifting words that parents will intuitively relate to or comprehend, the esoteric messages may be a bit sentimental and ambiguous for kids to understand or even connect to. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30072-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.


Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet