Once again, a spirited Shannon narrative shows that when hearts are opened to each other, affection and harmony follow.


In a second installment, the well-intentioned but naïve protagonist takes on a babysitting gig.

Egg-shaped like its guardian, the pint-sized terror sports a sailor suit. “Snookums” is first seen guzzling a chocolate soda with a straw. In a comedic bit that kids will love, the hand-lettered “sluurrrp!” is inhaled into the glass over four pages. The subsequent “Buurrrp!” erupts over three, wilting the vase of flowers on the host’s table. Too late, Mr. Nogginbody is informed that the soda is supposed to follow the homework, but the now-energized child has the TV remote, and the chase is on. The ink drawings on white paper are activated with swaths of color. Panels of varying sizes signal discrete actions, and perspectives shift to focus attention and create interest. As the babysitter turns playful—and the two bounce on the couch—he observes: “You are a childish child!” The upside-down charge retorts (in text that is also upside down): “You’re a grownupish grownup!” The climax portrays the adult crashing into the ceiling and breaking the couch on the way down. The two have an emotional exchange, each fearing they will be “in deep doo-doo” when the mother returns. Luckily, Mr. Nogginbody knows his way around a hammer; repairs, homework, and mutual soda partaking are completed in short order. A visual joke awaits close observers on the final page.

Once again, a spirited Shannon narrative shows that when hearts are opened to each other, affection and harmony follow. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-324-00463-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Norton Young Readers

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids.


A little girl’s imaginative plan to become an astronaut and be the first to travel to Mars really takes off.

Together with a crew of stuffed animals (owl, rabbit, and teddy bear), Sadie Sprocket does her research, gathers materials to build her spaceship, and, with support from family and friends—and media coverage—embarks on her historic journey. Rhyming quatrains tell the story of how Sadie patiently reads, cooks, and records important data during the 100-day interplanetary journey. And then: “The Earth behind, so far away, / was now a tiny dot. / Then Sadie cried, ‘There’s planet Mars! / It’s smaller than I thought!’ ” After landing and gathering 20 bags of samples, Sadie and crew are stuck in a red sandstorm while trying to take off again. But with Sadie’s determination and can-do spirit, they blast off, safely returning to Earth with future heroic space-exploration ideas in mind. Spiky cartoons transform a child’s playroom into an outer-space venue, complete with twinkling stars and colorful planets. Sadie presents White while her encouraging fans feature more diversity. An addendum includes brief facts about Mars and a handful of women space scientists. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1803-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures.


Pippa conquers a fear of the creatures that emerge from her storybooks at night.

Pippa’s “wonderfully wild imagination” can sometimes run “a little TOO wild.” During the day, she wears her “armor” and is a force to be reckoned with. But in bed at night, Pippa worries about “villains and monsters and beasts.” Sharp-toothed and -taloned shadows, dragons, and pirates emerge from her storybooks like genies from a bottle, just to scare her. Pippa flees to her parents’ room only to be brought back time and again. Finally, Pippa decides that she “needs a plan” to “get rid of them once and for all.” She decides to slip a written invitation into every book, and that night, they all come out. She tries subduing them with a lasso, an eye patch, and a sombrero, but she is defeated. Next, she tries “sashes and sequins and bows,” throwing the fashion pieces on the monsters, who…“begin to pose and primp and preen.” After that success, their fashion show becomes a nightly ritual. Clever Pippa’s transformation from scared victim of her own imagination to leader of the monster pack feels fairly sudden, but it’s satisfying nonetheless. The cartoony illustrations effectively use dynamic strokes, shadow, and light to capture action on the page and the feeling of Pippa's fears taking over her real space. Pippa and her parents are brown-skinned with curls of various textures.

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9300-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet