Tailor-made for storytimes large or intimate.

ON THE WAY HOME

From the Somos8 series

Coming back with Grandpa from a pre-dinner walk, a child gets some unexpected help working up an appetite.

First it’s a monkey swinging in a tree. “Can we do that too?” “Of course!” says the monkey. After a puddle-jumping alligator, a tap-dancing zebra, a tiger on a trampoline, and a weightlifting hippo extend similar invitations, appetite is no longer an issue…but credibility is. “What a wild imagination, sweetie!” says Grandma, upon hearing the tale. But then comes a knock at the door, and in troops a crew of animal dinner guests: “Surprise!” Along with select words in boldface to provide read-aloud guidance, the narrative features lots of sound effects (“SPLISH! SPLASH!”; “BOING! BOING!”) for young audiences to chime in on. They’ll be happy to yell them out when they’re not giggling at the sight of gray-bearded Grandpa gamely swinging by his knees, jumping, splashing, and pumping iron along with his apple-cheeked companion in Vasko’s big, exuberant paintings. Closing, fittingly enough, with a double-page animal rumpus, this high-energy outing offers rousing surprises with nearly every page turn. Both black-mopped child and silver-haired grandparents have pink skin. The book publishes simultaneously in Spanish, with a translation by Luis Amavisca and a title that’s far more suggestive of the interior than the original: Una tarde súper increíble.

Tailor-made for storytimes large or intimate. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-84-18133-22-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: nubeOCHO

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: yesterday

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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 sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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