A warm and enticing celebration of doting fathers.

Whether they are “Papa,” “Bàba,” “Papi,” or “Fadre,” fathers love their children.

This board book shows dads engaging in many different forms of love: reading bedtime stories, searching the skies with a telescope, biking, and gardening. Told from the child’s point of view, the text is made up of simple, descriptive statements like “Daddy and I play soccer together. He teaches me how to juggle the ball,” and “Baba shows me how to dress with style. He makes everything look like new.” The book is inclusive, with characters who are diverse in terms of race and ability. Urda also includes a child who talks about a father figure rather than a dad: “Pappy is like my dad—he helps me ride my bike.” Butcher’s illustrations carefully capture details such as delicate, Afro-textured curls, braids, and crutches. The images show fathers doing a range of tasks, including those traditionally associated with mothers, such as baking and sewing. The colors are vibrant and inviting, with plenty to take in on each page. Overall, this simple tale shows fathers as the diverse, capable, loving parents that they are. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A warm and enticing celebration of doting fathers. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-4998-1351-7

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023



A joyful celebration.

Families in a variety of configurations play, dance, and celebrate together.

The rhymed verse, based on a song from the Noodle Loaf children’s podcast, declares that “Families belong / Together like a puzzle / Different-sized people / One big snuggle.” The accompanying image shows an interracial couple of caregivers (one with brown skin and one pale) cuddling with a pajama-clad toddler with light brown skin and surrounded by two cats and a dog. Subsequent pages show a wide array of families with members of many different racial presentations engaging in bike and bus rides, indoor dance parties, and more. In some, readers see only one caregiver: a father or a grandparent, perhaps. One same-sex couple with two children in tow are expecting another child. Smart’s illustrations are playful and expressive, curating the most joyful moments of family life. The verse, punctuated by the word together, frequently set in oversized font, is gently inclusive at its best but may trip up readers with its irregular rhythms. The song that inspired the book can be found on the Noodle Loaf website.

A joyful celebration. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22276-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020


From the Punderland series

Not a great choice for the youngest dinosaur lovers.

A board-book ode to parental love as old as the dinosaurs.

A line of text on the left of each spread reads like a dinosaur-themed valentine that a third grader might choose, with punishingly punny wordplay that incorporates dinosaur-related words. On the facing page a dinosaur pair—a baby and an adult—gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes against whimsical, pastel-hued prehistoric-ish backgrounds. In smaller print, in all caps, at the bottom of the left page is the scientific name for the dinosaur referenced by the text and picture followed by a helpful phonetic pronunciation guide. White-outlined footprints appear next to their names, though the white is sometimes difficult to see against the pastel pages. Ten of the best-known dinosaurs are included. Twisting the dinosaur names to fit the loving sentiments succeeds some of the time but more often results in tortured text, well beyond the understanding of the board book audience. The line accompanying two hugging velociraptors, for instance, is just confusing: “Wrap-TOR arms around me, / with you I’ll always stay.” Others are just plain clumsy: “I-wanna-GUANODON you kisses, / I truly just adore you.” Very young children, even those fascinated by dinosaurs, will not get it. Older dinosaur fans will be put off by the babyish format.

Not a great choice for the youngest dinosaur lovers. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2295-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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