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From the first page to the last, this inventive, beautifully illustrated tale affirms a child’s value.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Two siblings embrace their own self-worth in this picture book.

Two brown-skinned, curly-haired siblings start their day looking in the mirror. In first-person narration, each says: “I just love what I see….” Beginning with that positive self-image—that their reflections are beautiful—the rhyming text continues describing how each part of the face shows an aspect of the child’s character. A wrinkled, sweaty brow represents both fun and hard work. Between the kids’ ears are always-working brains; their eyes are filled with visions of future dreams; and their noses smell “my greatness.” While they experience setbacks—an embarrassing grade, a scraped chin—the children know they have powerful voices and walk with pride. Ferguson’s smooth, rhyming stanzas employ imaginative turns of phrase and use facial features to evoke more than just the common senses associated with eyes, ears, and noses. Instead, they showcase emotions, accomplishments, and creativity to excellent effect. A few words (embarrassed, defined) may help stretch the vocabularies of emerging readers. Aryutova’s cartoon illustrations are at once realistic and whimsical, deftly capturing the emotional intent of the rhymes and creating two incredibly likable protagonists. Athletics, the sciences, the visual and performing arts, and innovative play are all portrayed as virtuous parts of the lives of the protagonists, showcasing well-rounded likes and dreams sure to appeal to a wide range of readers.

From the first page to the last, this inventive, beautifully illustrated tale affirms a child’s value.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: F.Ferguson Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021


A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014


Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.

Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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