HELLO, BABY! I'M YOUR MOM

An informative baby-animal book in which mothers are revered and applauded.

A sweet animal book spotlights mothers’ loving dedication to their children.

Just as human babies need continual attention, baby animals have a variety of needs and must learn different skills to survive and thrive. Narrated in rhyming quatrains in the voice of a mother reassuring her infant, the text celebrates the unique bond between a mama and her young while highlighting specific characteristics and abilities of various animal species. On the opening double-page spread, a human mother promises that “I’ll take care of you” as she marvels at the tiny hands and feet of her bundle of joy. A she-cat vows to share a cozy bed with her kitten. A mother bird assures her hungry nestlings that she will feed them bugs “to make you strong.” An alligator mom will teach her little ones to snap their jaws and use their little claws. A rhino will learn confidence from a nurturing mum: “Your skin is wrinkled just a bit. / Another month and it will fit. / Not everyone will look at you / and think you’re pretty, but I do.” Emotive full-bleed illustrations in glowing hues accentuate the tenderness of maternal love. The backmatter includes interesting facts about the 10 featured animals and photos of them. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An informative baby-animal book in which mothers are revered and applauded. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-53411-146-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

THERE'S A ROCK CONCERT IN MY BEDROOM

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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THE WONKY DONKEY

Hee haw.

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The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2018

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