While some families may “come from” adoption, babies simply do not come from airports.

READ REVIEW

BABIES COME FROM AIRPORTS

A celebration of a multiracial family formed through international adoption.

First-person, rhyming text in the voice of Adar, a black adoptee from Ethiopia (as indicated by a flag on his “Gotcha Day” scrapbook), shares his anticipation of his mother’s arrival at the airport with his new baby sister, while Adar’s big brother, Nico, helps him recall his own arrival at the airport with their mother. A cartoon aesthetic incorporates environmental print and other details to reveal that this baby girl was born in China. The text doesn’t share whether Nico is an adoptee; he has light-brown skin and dark, straight hair, while their mother has a similar skin tone and brown, curly hair. Their father’s light skin and curly, dark-blond hair make him seem white. He’s depicted as a rather hapless parent, with various mishaps recorded by the boys’ pictures drawn for their mother during her absence. While their reunion with mother and baby is a joyful one at the airport, the central premise that “babies come from airports” erases birth parents in the adoption triad. This grave misstep frames adoption as a wholly joyful phenomenon of adoptive parents and kids in a mutual, exclusive “gotcha,” thus ignoring its inherent losses and complexities.

While some families may “come from” adoption, babies simply do not come from airports. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61067-557-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun.

CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO JOBS PEOPLE DO

From the Clothesline Clues series

Heling and Hembrook’s clever conceit challenges children to analyze a small town’s clotheslines to guess the job each of their owners does. 

Close-up on the clothesline: “Uniform and cap, / an invite for you. / Big bag of letters. / What job does she do?” A turn of the page reveals a macro view of the home, van and the woman doing her job, “She is a mail carrier.” Indeed, she can be spotted throughout the book delivering invitations to all the rest of the characters, who gather at the end for a “Launch Party.” The verses’ rhymes are spot-on, though the rhythm falters a couple of times. The authors nicely mix up the gender stereotypes often associated with several of these occupations, making the carpenter, firefighter and astronaut women. But while Davies keeps uniforms and props pretty neutral (he even avoids U.S. mail symbols), he keeps to the stereotypes that allow young readers to easily identify occupations—the farmer chews on a stalk of wheat; the beret-wearing artist sports a curly mustache. A subdued palette and plain white backgrounds keep kids’ focus on the clothing clues. Still, there are plenty of details to absorb—the cat with arched back that anticipates a spray of water, the firefighter who “lights” the rocket.

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-251-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE GRUFFALO

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more