A bracing burst of joie de vivre, ideal for any rude, nude, naked brood.

READ REVIEW

RUDIE NUDIE

This Australian import features two imps who take a particular pleasure in gamboling about sans covering.

From the title page, where a brother and his older sister fling off their clothes, to the “splishing, splashing, sploshing” of a bath, Quay captures the delight her two heroes feel when down to their birthday suits. Almost immediately, the two dry off and zoom through the house. Gently rhyming text chronicles their sensory adventures as they enjoy the soft rug, the spiky doormat and the dangling fronds of a backyard willow. Their capers concluded, the two return to the loving embrace of their mama “for a cuddle, kiss and hug and squeeze and hold.” Some American readers may try in vain to parse the linguistic logic behind the term “rudie nudie,” a phrase that seems to refer to both juvenile streakers at once. Others (probably grown-ups) may be uncomfortable with the pair’s unapologetic embrace of their nude states. Yet for many children, Quay’s paean to running about in your altogethers will prove irresistible. The accompanying art, calculatedly devoid of penises, done in pencil, paper and Photoshop, charms. More importantly, it clarifies that the book celebrates a childhood experience, separate from the parental gaze.

A bracing burst of joie de vivre, ideal for any rude, nude, naked brood. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7333-2335-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperCollins 360

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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