This cozy duo shows why every day should be Thanksgiving.

WE GIVE THANKS

A gentle reminder to give thanks for all that you have.

One day, a rabbit and a frog ramble around their rural community with two purposes in mind. First, they share their thanks for their world filled with comfort, friends, food, family, nature, and affection. “We give thanks for cousins / and for fathers and for mothers. / We give thanks for grandpas / and for sisters and for brothers.” One couplet bobbles the scansion but is charming nevertheless. Another, scent-filled verse hints at “noses” and creatively rhymes “roses” with “toeses.” And as they make their way, the rabbit and the frog also seem to issue invitations to everyone in the community, resulting in a friend-filled feast and their final message of inclusion: “Bless our nights and bless our days / and bless all those we meet. // We give thanks for everything, / and now… // it’s time to EAT!” In places, illustrations with pops of neon blue, pink, green, and purple against a generally pastel palette play whimsically with the gentle text. However, the bright green frog in a fluorescent pink, feathered hat is giggleworthy, as is his creative yellow portrait of a brown dog and the studio cat dripping with yellow paint in a picture where literal readers may expect the yellow dog and yellow cat of the verse. Young readers will also appreciate snow-capped mountains in neon blue and shocking pink and the creative, but perhaps out of control, vehicles. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This cozy duo shows why every day should be Thanksgiving. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6507-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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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 visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts.

ONE FAMILY

A playful counting book also acts as a celebration of family and human diversity.

Shannon’s text is delivered in spare, rhythmic, lilting verse that begins with one and counts up to 10 as it presents different groupings of things and people in individual families, always emphasizing the unitary nature of each combination. “One is six. One line of laundry. One butterfly’s legs. One family.” Gomez’s richly colored pictures clarify and expand on all that the text lists: For “six,” a picture showing six members of a multigenerational family of color includes a line of laundry with six items hanging from it outside of their windows, as well as the painting of a six-legged butterfly that a child in the family is creating. While text never directs the art to depict diverse individuals and family constellations, Gomez does just this in her illustrations. Interracial families are included, as are depictions of men with their arms around each other, and a Sikh man wearing a turban. This inclusive spirit supports the text’s culminating assertion that “One is one and everyone. One earth. One world. One family.”

A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30003-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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