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ABC ANIMALS

A BEDTIME STORY

This not particularly soporific bedtime romp features 49 different kinds of animals modeling nearly as many different personalities and rituals as they prepare to settle down: “Baby giraffe washed her fuzzy mane / while gorilla stuffed toothbrushes down the drain,” and so on. Rendering her creatures in brightly colored, naturalistic paper collage, Moffatt drapes each with a few leaves, toys or items of clothing on a big purple letter of the alphabet, all printed on a stiff page shaped like the letter. The entire menagerie makes a final appearance—snuggled into an enormous bed or nestled down on a tree branch behind—on a closing foldout. Another high-energy nighttime read, along the lines of Peggy Rathmann’s 10 Minutes till Bedtime (1998). (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-689-86729-8

Page Count: 60

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2005

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YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

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 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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TEN LITTLE FISH

This charming, colorful counting tale of ten little fish runs full-circle. Although the light verse opens and closes with ten fish swimming in a line, page-by-page the line grows shorter as the number of fish diminishes one-by-one. One fish dives down, one gets lost, one hides, and another takes a nap until a single fish remains. Then along comes another fish to form a couple and suddenly a new family of little fish emerges to begin all over. Slick, digitally-created images of brilliant marine flora and fauna give an illusion of underwater depth and silence enhancing the verse’s numerical and theatrical progression. The holistic story bubbles with life’s endless cycle. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-439-63569-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2004

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