FIVE CREATURES

Shared and distinct traits appear in the five creatures in Jenkins’s household—two adults, a young girl, and two cats. Bogacki (My First Garden, 2000, etc.) uses a fish-eye perspective and a schoolchild’s elementary expressiveness to give these comparisons a decidedly mellow, soft-focus feel. “Four who like to eat fish. Three who like to drink milk, one who’s allergic, and one who only has it in coffee. Two who like to eat mice. Only one who likes to eat beets.” The comparisons fluidly shift back and forth, including adult with child, or child with cat, or any combination that fits. There are even those shared if dissimilar tastes: “Five who love birds . . . but not all in the same way.” There are touches of humor: apparently one of the cats can open the cupboard door, and it’s the cats and adults who can climb on high stools. The book has an appealing way of inviting the reader in, allowing for moments of identification: “Two who can read, and one who is learning” or “three who don’t like taking baths.” And it is also good fun to chart the action of the text; it’s not always who you’d think who gets included or left out of the mix. A great introduction to Venn diagramming, but fun enough to start folks grouping on their own. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 20, 2001

ISBN: 0-374-32341-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DONOVAN'S BIG DAY

It may be his mothers’ wedding day, but it’s Donovan’s big day in Newman’s (Heather Has Two Mommies, 1989, etc.) latest picture book about queer family life. Centered on the child’s experience and refreshingly eschewing reference to controversy, the book emerges as a celebration of not only Mommy’s and Mama’s mutual love but progress toward equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Readers, however, don't know immediately know why it is “a very BIG day” for Donovan or what the “very BIG job” is that he has to do. In his affectionate, humorous gouache paintings with digital finish, Dutton cleverly includes clues in the form of family pictures in an earlier spread set inside their home, and then a later spread shows Donovan in a suit and placing a “little white satin box that Aunt Jennifer gave him” into his pocket, hinting toward his role as ring bearer. But it’s not until the third-to-last spread that he stands with his parents and hands “one shiny gold ring to Mommy [and] one shiny gold ring to Mama.” He, of course, gets to kiss the brides on the last page, lending a happily-ever-after sensibility to the end of this story about a family's new beginning. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-332-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more