A few reworked lines and some brightened colors would likely boost this charming tale from “good” to “great.”

Daddy Did I Ever Say? I Love You, Love You, Every Day

A little girl explains to her father why she loves him so very much.

A cute, curly-haired, kindergarten-aged girl opens the story by asking her father if she’s ever told him how much she loves him. She loves him, she explains, because of how he plays, tickles, squeezes, chases, even roughhouses with her. She loves him because whenever she’s afraid at night, she knows she can always find him, and he’ll make her feel better. He takes care of her, picking her up when she falls down and fixing her hair and helping her get dressed in the morning. Her mother sometimes disapproves of the things the little girl and her father do together. She thinks they play too roughly, and when her husband does her daughter’s hair and picks out her clothes, it’s quite the disaster! But the little girl doesn’t care; she loves the way she looks because her father helped her look this way. And at night, when she gets sleepy, he wipes away her sleepy tears and tucks her into bed. The idea behind the story of the little girl and her doting father is charming, although the execution may fall just a bit flat. The verse Cobb (Do Pirates Go To School?, 2010) has penned is appealing and rhymes prettily at times, but elsewhere rhyme and syntax have a tendency to feel somewhat forced. That said, the sentiment is sweet and the text is simple enough to read aloud with the youngest of readers. Van Wagoner’s illustrations are eye-catching, though it’s the little girl’s expression that shines through on every page. The colors are perhaps a bit muted, but the text easily stands out and works well enough with the illustrations.

A few reworked lines and some brightened colors would likely boost this charming tale from “good” to “great.” 

Pub Date: Dec. 5, 2007

ISBN: 978-1424339181

Page Count: 32

Publisher: 10 to 2 Children's Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2012

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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Preachy and predictable.

RUBYLICIOUS

From the Pinkalicious series

Pinkalicious is excited to add the 100th rock to her rock collection.

Her brother, Peter, is not impressed. He thinks the rock looks dirty and that it isn’t special at all. When the siblings try to rub the rock clean, though, something wonderful happens: A magical figure emerges in a cloud of red smoke. Rather than ask her name, Pinkalicious and Peter tell her they will call her Rocky. Rocky accepts the new name and nervously says that she can grant the children a wish. But every time the sister and brother make a wish, Rocky initially grants it and then talks them out of it. When Peter and Pinkalicious wish for a gigantic mountain of sweets, for instance, a timorous Rocky shows them how eating so much sugar harms their bodies. When the children wish that they could fly, Rocky shows them how dangerous flying can be. When they wish to live in a castle, Rocky gives them a palace that is too large and cold to be any fun. In the end, Pinkalicious and Peter decide that the best wish they can make isn’t for themselves but for Rocky—a decision that leads to even more magical results. This latest series installment underwhelms. In addition to the arbitrary plot and wooden dialogue, Pinkalicious and Peter come across as maddeningly entitled. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Preachy and predictable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-305521-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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