A gentle encouragement to explore and get the best out of unfamiliar situations.

READ REVIEW

LITTLE OWL'S SNOW

The whimsical little owl with the huge eyes is back (Little Owl’s Day, 2014, etc.), exploring the joys of a new and unfamiliar season.

Feeling a chill in the air, he thinks, “Something is happening!” The leaves are changing color and beginning to fall, geese are flying away, and many animals are preparing to hibernate. “Bear sleeps through all the fun,” Raccoon explains. As he flits through the silent forest, Little Owl sees the magic of winter. Snow begins to fall, and the forest is transformed into a crystalline fairyland. Tracks appear in the snow, fish swim under the frozen pond. Little Owl starts to miss his hibernating friends, especially Bear and Hedgehog, but Mama encourages him to enjoy the snow, “a special secret not everyone can know.” Little Owl finds he can still have fun playing in the snow with everyone who is awake through the winter. Srinivasan’s stylized illustrations are colorful tapestries on black backgrounds depicting a realistic variety of fall and winter foliage and animal life. The forest floor is rich with mushrooms, nuts, leaves, and berries. Bear’s paws and mouth are stained with the blueberries he is gorging in preparation for his long sleep.

A gentle encouragement to explore and get the best out of unfamiliar situations. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-670-01651-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

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 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

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 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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