This ode to exploration encourages youngsters to think big; sometimes the most fun is in the preparation.

READ REVIEW

THE GRAND EXPEDITION

Two young siblings go on an adventure in their own backyard.

In this Swedish import, two tiny tots decide one day to embark on a grand expedition. The children are never specifically gendered, with only one called by name—Iben (the other narrates). They gather the essentials: a tent, a flashlight, a cozy blanket, and a jump-rope (just in case they need a lasso, of course). They search the kitchen for treats but find none. Dad helpfully offers a jar of pickles, receiving frowns in response. They drag their supplies to a rock in the backyard and set up camp. Everything is great until they run out of pickles, mosquitoes start buzzing, Iben can’t get comfortable on the hard ground, and the narrator needs to “poop.” They shuffle back inside, confident in their decision. Dad (no other parent is mentioned throughout) doesn’t ask questions but instead snuggles up on the couch and breaks out the cheese puffs. Adbåge’s quirky line illustrations, with muted watercolor washes, set the tone for a grand—yet quite ordinary—adventure that many readers will find familiar. The children are drawn with pale skin and white, moplike pageboys.

This ode to exploration encourages youngsters to think big; sometimes the most fun is in the preparation. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59270-245-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Maybe these kids should try babysitting Santa.

HOW TO CATCH SANTA

From the How To... series

The creators of the bestselling How to Babysit a Grandpa (2012) and How to Babysit a Grandma (2014) continue their series with this story about a brother and sister who want to capture Santa on his annual visit to their home.

The children discuss improbable ideas for spotting or catching Santa, including a complicated sequence with notes to lure Santa up to their bedroom. They wait up for Santa, and a nighttime view of Santa and the reindeer on the neighborhood’s roofs makes his arrival seem imminent. Then, in a disappointing conclusion, the children fall asleep with no sign of Santa’s arrival. In the morning it’s clear Santa has been there, as the presents are under the tree and the cookies and carrots have been eaten. There is a trail of red glitter leading to the chimney from the letter the kids sent to Santa, but that’s the only surprise this story has to offer. Readers might be expecting some sort of exciting trap for Santa or some clever way the children get to meet him or ride in his sleigh. No…just a sprinkle of red glitter. Digitally produced illustration are bright and cheery, with cute kids and amusing details, but sharp-eyed readers will notice the decorated Christmas tree in the living room is inexplicably placed in four different locations on different pages.

Maybe these kids should try babysitting Santa. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-49839-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more