Share this silly and satisfying title with all little monsters.

I LOATHE YOU

This full-of-loathing story is a welcome twist on the often saccharine how-much-do-you-love-me genre.

Slonim substitutes the word “loathe” for “love” and truly runs with it. His characters are two amiable horned monsters. The younger orange one quizzes the older and bigger creature about its true feelings. Just how much does it really loathe the little one? The rhyming text rollicks along: “I loathe you more than chicken pox, / more than stinky, sweaty socks. / More than garbage in a dump, / or splinters sticking in my rump. / Mosquito bites? I loathe them, yes, / But next to you, a whole lot less.” As the monsters sling increasingly gross and endearingly disgusting claims of loathsomeness, readers will alternately screech with “ewws” and laughter as they pore over the hilarious cartoon illustrations executed in acrylics with charcoal. At one point the monster child becomes a little quiet and wonders, “But what if I goof up someday, / or if my warts all fade away? / If I blurt out ‘THANKS,’ or ‘PLEASE’? / Or take a bath and kill my fleas? / If I should slip and just obey / then would your loathing go away?” Of course, the grown monster reassures his young one, as all good parents do. “Nice or nasty, kind or mean, / I loathe you up, down, and between.”

Share this silly and satisfying title with all little monsters. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2244-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sadly, the storytelling runs aground.

LITTLE RED SLEIGH

A little red sleigh has big Christmas dreams.

Although the detailed, full-color art doesn’t anthropomorphize the protagonist (which readers will likely identify as a sled and not a sleigh), a close third-person text affords the object thoughts and feelings while assigning feminine pronouns. “She longed to become Santa’s big red sleigh,” reads an early line establishing the sleigh’s motivation to leave her Christmas-shop home for the North Pole. Other toys discourage her, but she perseveres despite creeping self-doubt. A train and truck help the sleigh along, and when she wishes she were big, fast, and powerful like them, they offer encouragement and counsel patience. When a storm descends after the sleigh strikes out on her own, an unnamed girl playing in the snow brings her to a group of children who all take turns riding the sleigh down a hill. When the girl brings her home, the sleigh is crestfallen she didn’t reach the North Pole. A convoluted happily-ever-after ending shows a note from Santa that thanks the sleigh for giving children joy and invites her to the North Pole next year. “At last she understood what she was meant to do. She would build her life up spreading joy, one child at a time.” Will she leave the girl’s house to be gifted to other children? Will she stay and somehow also reach ever more children? Readers will be left wondering. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 31.8% of actual size.)

Sadly, the storytelling runs aground. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-72822-355-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more