Sweet and satisfying.

READ REVIEW

BAMBOO FOR ME, BAMBOO FOR YOU!

Panda sisters Amanda and Miranda enjoy playing, watching other animals, and chewing on bamboo.

The pint-sized cubs live at the zoo with their Mama. Throughout the day, they observe what the other animals eat. Though curious, they are picky! “Pewwww!” is the repeated refrain as they scrutinize their neighbors’ meals. They prefer bamboo, which they jubilantly share for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Like all toddler siblings, Amanda and Miranda spend the day playing…and arguing. When some gentle pushing gets slightly out of hand, the cubs decide to play alone, each ultimately realizing she is lonely without her sister. The rhyming text and repeated, predictable negative judgment of all foods nonbamboo help to tie the storylines together, creating a gleeful picture of the persnickety pandas’ daily routine. The consistent rhythm pattern and use of words that rhyme with “bamboo” result in a narrative that is delightful to read aloud. Bright and charming full-page illustrations show a romantic version of zoo life. The animals are all happy, living in quarters partitioned off by small barriers and full of natural materials to lounge on and explore. There are no cages and no humans. This idealized setting may be unrealistic, but it serves the overall tone of the story well.

Sweet and satisfying. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5063-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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A sweet cetacean story.

THE HEART OF A WHALE

The flora and fauna of the ocean respond to a lonely whale’s beautiful music by helping him find another whale.

“Whale’s song was so beautiful it could reach the farthest of faraways.” Over a double-page spread, a simply drawn white whale—detailed with a large eye, a small mouth and fins, and a small lavender heart—swims past a variety of pastel-hued sea denizens. The lyrical text is set in type that emulates hand-lettering. Watercolors are the appropriate choice for a tale that occurs in a sea full of creatures—with an occasional glimpse of land and sky as well as a cheerfully colored sailboat and lighthouse. Collage, pencil sketching, and washes produce a dreamlike effect that also feels sweetly humorous. A double-page spread of sea horses lounging atop spirited jellyfish is especially whimsical. Musical terms are cleverly used to describe the singing whale’s positive effects on others (“a cheerful symphony for a sad urchin”). After several pages of poetic lines about the talented singer, readers learn that his heart feels “empty.” The ocean carries his sighing wish across miles of lovingly rendered sea habitats until the solo becomes a duet. Although the flap copy speaks of friendship, even the youngest of readers will sense that this is a whale of a romance. Beneath its warmth is a poignant reminder of the loss to all if whale songs become history.

A sweet cetacean story. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984-83627-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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