Forget your troubles—but not your snorkel!—this read is smooth sailing.

BUNNY OVERBOARD

Bunny sets sail and goes for a dip.

This gentle seafaring jaunt begins with Bunny, clad in an old-fashioned bathing costume, bidding readers “Ahoy!” and setting sail for a day on the peaceful, summery sea. With a little help from readers, Bunny puts wind in the sail, rocks the boat, and “kerplunks” safely back on deck after a near miss of the titular “Overboard!” After donning snorkeling gear, Bunny’s delight at staying dry is rendered endearingly moot as—“buns away!”—Rueda takes the frame under the sea, where Bunny invites readers to touch a “gooey rock” and pat a pufferfish and asks for assistance with an inky octopus and hunting treasure. Whatever Bunny’s tale lacks in plot, it more than makes up for in sweetness: soft, simple pencil illustrations are colored with a cheerful nautical palette, and Bunny smiles welcomingly out on every page. A charming surprise mirror will surely show readers smiling right back. On the return trip, a seal readers have seen all along is at long last revealed to the oblivious narrator, and all ends well with a refreshing glass of carrot lemonade for everyone involved. Small details add to the charm: The little sailboat is named, hilariously, “BUNNY,” and the range of expressions sported by the assorted sea creatures demands a second read.

Forget your troubles—but not your snorkel!—this read is smooth sailing. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-6256-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

more