With far more genuineness than Seriously, Just Go to Sleep, this is sure to be a hit with preschoolers.

MY DAD IS BIG AND STRONG, BUT...

A BEDTIME STORY

This French import by Saudo impresses with its comic take on the now-popular role-reversal of a child trying to get his parent to bed.

The wry narrative tone of a smallish but still substantial boy always displayed in profile conveys the exasperation most parents experience. Dad, depicted in a proper hat and tie, declares, “I don’t want to go to bed!” And so begins the convincing, debating, distracting and demanding—from both sides. As the tension escalates with stubborn refusals and increasingly silly behavior (dad in a handstand or swinging from the chandelier), the boy turns to “the story trick [that] works every time.” Daddy wants another and another, “[b]ut enough is enough!” After a few more negotiations (tucking the fedora-clad Daddy in, firmly telling him he must sleep in his own bed) the recalcitrant oldster finally says, “ ‘Good night,’…in a small, faraway voice.” Dad may be “big / and strong, / but he’s afraid of the dark.” DiGiacomo’s mixed-media illustrations in a bedtime palette of browns and grays lend an irresistible whimsy to this humorous if less-than-original tale. Young insomniacs will recognize themselves in the antics of the oversized dad and enjoy poring over the naively drawn details found on every page.

With far more genuineness than Seriously, Just Go to Sleep, this is sure to be a hit with preschoolers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59270-122-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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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

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A cozy year-round delight.

I LOVE YOU ALL YEAR THROUGH

Animal caregivers express their love for their little ones throughout the seasons in this addition to the “I love you” shelf.

Markers of the seasons loom large in this salute to parent-child bonds—spring blossoms and rains, autumn leaves, the summer sun and haze. “I love you in the winter / when the frost is on the trees. // When ice lights up the night / and snowflakes drift upon the breeze.” Stansbie’s gentle rhymes continue in this pattern through spring, summer, and autumn before summing the year up: “In wind and rain and sun, / from dawn to dusk and all year through… // You are my darling precious one. / Forever I’ll love you!” A different duo is shown on each spread, and the animals are familiar favorites: bear, fox, deer, rabbit, bird, otter, horse, lion, wolf, red squirrel, whale, and polar bear. Simple though gorgeously dappled backgrounds capture the basics of the animals’ various habitats. Mason’s use of light is masterful; many of the illustrations capture the animals at golden hour, and this contributes to the cozy mood evoked by the text. Though the animals’ expressions tend toward anthropomorphism, most of their actions are natural.

A cozy year-round delight. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984851-49-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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