Next book


A pretty, hardcover greeting card.

A cute-as-a-button moppet adopts, raises, and loves a lost little duckling.

Keane’s digital illustrations have the loose, line-and-wash, mid-20th-century look of Marc Simont or Hilary Knight, with the exception of their central character, a thoroughly modern brown-skinned girl with two black pom-pom pigtails. When the little, yellow duckling follows a butterfly out of the park, the protagonist finds it and brings it to her well-appointed row house (where she apparently lives alone, as there’s no sign of an adult anywhere). She nurtures it through night feedings, plays with it inside, and, recognizing it’s time to say goodbye, takes it back to the park, where it swims away. It’s a 32-page expansion of the old poster platitude, “If you love something, let it go,” and (spoiler alert) the duckling does indeed come back the following spring, now grown and with a brood of its own. Unfortunately, the text is simply a series of soppy, frequently nonsensical “Love is” statements entirely in line with the platitude. “Love is holding something fragile, tiny wings and downy head. / Love is noisy midnight feedings, shoe box right beside the bed.” Having evidently decided to sacrifice sense to scansion and rhyme, Adams mystifyingly and periodically abandons that scansion, but never does she let go of the treacly sentiment. The charming illustrations mark Keane as one to watch, with her admirable command of line, composition, and narrative possibility.

A pretty, hardcover greeting card. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3997-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

Next book


Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

Next book



A caregiving bear shares with its cub how love has defined their relationship from the first moment and through the years as the cub has grown.

With rhymes and a steady rhythm that are less singsong-y than similar books, Stansbie seems to have hit a sweet spot for this offering on the I-love-you-always shelf. Readers follow the adult and child as they share special moments together—a sunset, a splash in a pond, climbing a tree, a snuggle—and the adult tells the child that the love it feels has only grown. Stansbie also takes care not to put promises in the adult bear’s mouth that can’t be delivered, acknowledging that physical proximity is not always possible: “Wherever you are, / even when we’re apart… // I’ll love you forever / with all of my heart.” The large trim size helps the sweet illustrations shine; their emphasis is on the close relationship between parent and child. Shaped peekaboo windows offer glimpses of preceding and succeeding pages, images and text carefully placed to work whatever the context. While the die cuts on the interior pages will not hold up to rough handling, they do add whimsy and delight to the book as a whole: “And now that you’re bigger, / you make my heart sing. / My / beautiful / wonderful / magical / thing.” Those last three adjectives are positioned in leaf-shaped cutouts, the turn of the page revealing the roly-poly cub in a pile of leaves, three formed by the die-cuts. Opposite, three vignettes show the cub appreciating the “beautiful,” the “wonderful,” and the “magical.”

Sweet. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68412-910-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Close Quickview