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A loving kind of book.

A meditative picture book devoted to honoring a sense of oneness with the world.

The book opens with a direct address to an unnamed baby of color: “You are a blessing. You are beautiful just as you are. You are loved, and you love.” Subsequent pages show the baby cradled and nurtured in an extended family. The art style is arrestingly simple, with human characters akin to those found in Christian Robinson’s work, though the colors overall, particularly backgrounds, are generally more saturated than his typically are. Following this celebration of the baby, the text’s refrains repeat with a new pronoun, she, to focus on a big sister—perhaps the baby has grown, or perhaps this is the baby’s older sibling; it’s open to interpretation. After the pages devoted to her, the pronoun shifts to they to introduce horses who join the children in the brightly colored illustrations. Finally, spreads about “everyone” bring the children together with a group of animals on “the earth that connects us all”—a phrase that concludes each segment. In the final iteration, two enormous green hands cradle children and animals, including lion, polar bear, giraffe, kangaroo and more, as whales, and other sea creatures swim beneath. The effect is to create a peaceable kingdom of loving kindness that acknowledges interconnectedness in soothing, gentle spreads. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A loving kind of book. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-21720-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Godwin Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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From the Kissing Hand series

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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From the Big Bright Feelings series

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance.

A boy with wings learns to be himself and inspires others like him to soar, too.

Norman, a “perfectly normal” boy, never dreamed he might grow wings. Afraid of what his parents might say, he hides his new wings under a big, stuffy coat. Although the coat hides his wings from the world, Norman no longer finds joy in bathtime, playing at the park, swimming, or birthday parties. With the gentle encouragement of his parents, who see his sadness, Norman finds the courage to come out of hiding and soar. Percival (The Magic Looking Glass, 2017, etc.) depicts Norman with light skin and dark hair. Black-and-white illustrations show his father with dark skin and hair and his mother as white. The contrast of black-and-white illustrations with splashes of bright color complements the story’s theme. While Norman tries to be “normal,” the world and people around him look black and gray, but his coat stands out in yellow. Birds pop from the page in pink, green, and blue, emphasizing the joy and beauty of flying free. The final spread, full of bright color and multiracial children in flight, sets the mood for Norman’s realization on the last page that there is “no such thing as perfectly normal,” but he can be “perfectly Norman.”

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-785-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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