THERE’S A HOUSE INSIDE MY MOMMY

A tot’s wide-eyed anticipation of the arrival of his sibling is the focus of this gently humorous tale. Narrated by the soon-to-be-big brother, Andreae’s (Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, not reviewed, etc.) sprightly verses detail the various stages of pregnancy using terminology and descriptive passages perfectly suited for young children. With the literalism of youth, the tot describes his mother’s expanding middle as the house where the baby grows and likens her womb to a cozy bathtub for the infant. The narrator blithely addresses cravings: “He seems to want such funny things / But Mommy’s very kind, / So she eats all sorts of crazy stuff / And doesn’t seem to mind” and allays worries over morning sickness: “ . . . if I had a house in me / I’d feel all yucky too.” While Andreae fails to raise the specter of sibling jealousy or feelings of displacement, his uniformly upbeat attitude is a positive way to introduce the concept of a new addition to little ones. Cabban’s (Where There’s a Bear, There’s Trouble!, p. 1305, etc.) full-bleed, full-color illustrations on oversized pages deftly mirror the buoyant joyfulness of the tale. Vibrant background colors in deep tangerine and lemon yellow capture the eye and serve to convey an aura of exuberance. A sparkling celebration of a wondrous event. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-8075-7853-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2002

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

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. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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FLOWER GARDEN

A young girl carries a carton of potted flowers from the supermarket home and up the stairs; she and her father replant them in a window box and light candles on a birthday cake to surprise Mom when she comes wearily home from work. In Hewitt's expansive oil paintings, the girl's honey-brown face shines as brightly as the daisies and daffodils; Bunting's brief rhymed text ("Garden in a cardboard box/Walking to the bus/Garden sitting on our laps/People smile at us!") celebrates the child's contagious happiness, the warm response of everyone who sees her, and the pleasure of having "a color jamboree" of flowers in the window of an inner-city apartment, high above the street. A simple, pleasing episode with a contemporary subtext. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-15-228776-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1994

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