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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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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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