Snoozeworthy.

READ REVIEW

NATURE'S LULLABY FILLS THE NIGHT

Those wishing to cultivate a state of wakefulness would do well to avoid this book at all costs.

Glimpses of forests, meadows, lakes, farms, and seas all help to soothe restless child readers as bedtime draws near. With a balanced and fluid text, Leone draws readers into a blue-tinged nightscape where “Moths with powdery wings so soft / gently stir the air aloft.” As depicted by Engel in pleasant, digital art, stylized parent animals in a variety of landscapes tuck in their offspring and one another, first insects, then plants, birds, sea creatures, farm animals, woodland dwellers, and then a beige-skinned mother and child. The repeated line “Nature’s lullaby fills the night” rounds out every sequence. The book carefully eschews the excitement of the day for the comfort of night. Although it does its job very well, however, it feels studiedly generic, and there is little here that makes it stand out from the countless lullaby and bedtime books gone before. For nighttime fare that doesn’t sacrifice interest for sleep, consider similar nature books such as Richard Jackson and Katherine Tillotson’s All Ears, All Eyes (2017) or Rita Gray and Kenard Pak’s When the World Is Dreaming (2016). That said, as a soporific tool, this book might well lull parents and children alike into a stupor.

Snoozeworthy. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2139-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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