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FAIRIES DON'T FIGHT

A SPRIGHTLY SIBLING STORY

A far too easily resolved tale of sisterly woes.

Fairy siblings spar but eventually make up.

Though they were born inside a single flower, brown-skinned sisters Piper and Nissa are as different as can be. Piper is active, ebullient, and loud; Nissa is quiet, artistic, and introverted. Nissa makes dainty dresses and collects mineral gems; Piper chases fireflies. When Piper politely asks to borrow some of Nissa’s things, Nissa hesitates but duly concludes that “fairies should always share.” Belatedly she discovers that Piper has made a mess out of Nissa’s belongings—including her favorite book. An unseen narrator repeatedly stresses that “fairies never fight,” but nevertheless a brawl breaks out as others watch, appalled. After “tiny tempers cool,” Piper makes a new book (apparently not in her prior dribbly drip-painting style) showing the siblings “doing all their favorite activities, together and separately” and presents it to Nissa. It seems that fairies don’t say sorry…and that a beloved book can simply be replaced by a different one. Words like harmony, tranquility, and tousled might need explanation. The hard black outlines that edge the flowers, leaves, trees, birds, and fairies are somewhat at odds with the delicate subjects. All the fairies have full arms and hands but stick legs and feet; most wear dresses and have brown skin (one is lighter-skinned). The psychedelic pink and purple colors are strident, and the tiny typeface rules out reading to a group. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A far too easily resolved tale of sisterly woes. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9781510775763

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023

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HOW TO CATCH A MAMASAURUS

From the How To Catch… series

A syrupy tribute to mothers that may please fans of the series.

Another creature is on the loose.

The long-running series continues its successful formula with this Hallmark card of a book, which features bright illustrations and catchy rhymes. This time, the mythical creature the racially diverse children set out to catch is an absent mom who does it all (lists of descriptors include the words banker, caregiver, nurse, doctor, driver, chef, housekeeper, teacher, entertainer, playmate, laundry service, problem solver, handywoman, cleaner, and alarm clock) but doesn’t seem to have a job outside the home and is inexplicably a dinosaur. As the children prepare gifts and a meal for her, the text becomes an ode to the skills the Mamasaurus possesses (“Day or night she’s always there. / She meets every wish and need”) and values she instills (“Sometimes life can mean hard work,” “kindness matters,” and “what counts is doing your best”). This well-intentioned selection veers into cliche generously sprinkled with saccharine but manages to redeem itself with its appreciation for mothers and all that they may do. Endpapers include a “to” and “from” page framed in a heart, as well as a page where young gift givers or recipients can draw a picture of their Mamasaurus.

A syrupy tribute to mothers that may please fans of the series. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 5, 2024

ISBN: 9781728274300

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2024

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DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

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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 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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