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Simple, true-to-life, and fun.

Little Lulu thinks they are the boss in this French Canadian import translated by Simard.

“Your job is to give me everything I ask for, okay?” says the tiny, ruffle-eared blue blob of a monster to a larger red blob of a monster, apparently a caregiver. Their first demand is for “a cake with lots of candy on top,” which the grown-up monster flatly turns down. Lulu then demands a garbage truck and permission to drive it…also a no. The things she orders her grown-up to supply—only to be denied each time—grow increasingly ludicrous: a dinosaur egg with a baby dino in it, a fire-breathing robot, a real-life airplane, and even a chocolate castle. For each desired object, Lulu is careful to specify that they want “a big one! Right now!’” Finally, the little scamp bursts into tears: “It’s not FAIR! You always say NO! I’m SAD. I want a HUG.” This time the response from the big red monster, though familiar, is not the same: “A big one? Right now?” Caregivers of little ones will definitely see their headstrong charges in Lulu (even if the little tyrants don’t see themselves). The tale is told entirely in dialogue, and the histrionic, imperious refrain will make for a fun read-aloud. Gravel’s signature heavily lined cartoon illustrations are bright, minimalist, and representational. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Simple, true-to-life, and fun. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4598-3296-1

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022

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Bright, cheerful, and summery.

Revel in the pleasures of summer days.

The text’s three rhyming quatrains extol the season’s joys, from “birds in leafy trees” and “happy bees” to “eating berry pie” and “twinkling fireflies.” Cottage-dwelling woodland mammals get the full digital cartoon treatment, with giant eyes, exuberantly bushy tails, and bright clothing, hats, and eyewear. Readers see them enjoying a range of outdoor activities, from picnicking and splashing around in a pond to running barefoot in the grass and lounging in a hammock. The adorable diminutive mammals are the stars of the book, but the lively insects and birds make their presences felt too. This simple but sweet addition to the ever expanding bookshelf of estival books for younger children is more about imagery than plot, but that’s OK. The rhymes scan well, and the anaphoric repetition lends itself to read-alouds. The consistently double-page, full-bleed spreads allow readers to sense the scope of summer’s bounty. The artwork’s palette tracks the day’s arc, with morning yellows and greens ceding to violets and blues as twilight falls. Longhi’s illustrations fairly sparkle with light and Lisa Frank–esque colors. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Bright, cheerful, and summery. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66591-241-9

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

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From the Big Kid Power series

Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end.

This book seeks to use the power of persuasion to vanquish that most formidable of opponents: toddlers.

In this entry in the Big Kid Power series, a little black girl makes no bones about the fact that pacifiers (or “binkies”) are strictly baby territory. When she was little she needed one, but that was then. Whether she’s tired, sad, or hungry, there are other ways of being comforted: hugs and polite requests, for instance. After she gives her binky to a baby and bids it a very clear goodbye, the book ends with a triumphant, “I’M A BIG KID!” Using a striking color combination of orange, brown, and black, van Lieshout keeps her pages bold and bright, complementing the simple vocabulary. Such declarations as, “Do I still have a binky? // NO, BIG KIDS DON’T NEED A BINKY. / NOPE!” leave scant wiggle room for argument. In her author’s note at the end, van Lieshout says that after speaking to many parents about how they helped their kids bid their pacifiers adieu, “many of them had in common…a ritual of some sort.” The ritual here seems to be giving the pacifier away, though it may be missed by many readers. Companion title I Use the Potty uses a similar approach, with a proud, white boy as its guide.

Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3536-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

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