Children will raise a loud cheer for this morning story.

READ REVIEW

WHAT SOUND IS MORNING?

Each day begins with riotous noise. Listen!

As sunrise’s gentle rays set the landscape ablaze, a new day is ushered in with a harmonious aural feast. Cue the ante-meridiem orchestra for the melodies of birdsong, yawning dogs, buzzing alarm clocks, clicking light switches, gurgling babies, whistling wind, crowing roosters, the cacophony of zooming traffic, and much more. This sweet, simple story will awaken young listeners’ imaginations to a world of early–a.m. wonders. The economic prose, occasionally rendered in rhyme and near rhyme, flows gently and well and will help kids happily recognize what goes on before and after they awaken. The book makes a fine springboard into laptime, classroom, and library-programming activities, as youngsters can be challenged to identify and/or illustrate morning noisemakers they’re familiar with in their homes and neighborhoods. Bold illustrations burst from the pages and are filled with eye-popping pinks, blues, yellows, greens, reds, purples, and other hues; pre-dawn dark colors lighten and dissipate as the day proceeds. People’s skin tones are primarily nonrealistic, though one woman is shown with dark-brown skin. A wonderful image accompanying the charming turn of phrase “Today is a melody still to be written, / today is a tune no one’s heard before” depicts a five-lined “staff” of electric wires with birds resembling musical notes perched upon them.

Children will raise a loud cheer for this morning story. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7993-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more