33 USES FOR A DAD

Like moms, dads need credit for all the “jobs” they do in the family. Ziefert presents these as a numbered list of the titles dads can hold. They are the chefs—presiding over the backyard barbecue—the designer of Halloween costumes, the map reader, and so on. They love and support their children by holding their hands, teaching them to swim, and being their biggest cheerleader. They are the taxi drivers, the alarm clocks, and the ATMs that keep families running smoothly. Haley’s watercolor illustrations add warmth and humor to the list. The dad whose job is “Horsie” is decked out in a too-small-for-his-head cowboy hat, while the ATM-dad has a long line of kids waiting in front of him for their turn. Dads of all sizes, shapes, and colors are represented, though some are stereotypical: the dad who’s a dancing partner looks like he just stepped out of a bad Arthur Murray commercial, while the campfire-builder is a scruffy, plaid-wearing woodsman, but that character is also the “storyteller.” Altogether, a fun way to show children that dads do many things in families and to tell dads they’re appreciated. (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-59354-028-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Apple

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2004

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Sincere and wholehearted.

I PROMISE

The NBA star offers a poem that encourages curiosity, integrity, compassion, courage, and self-forgiveness.

James makes his debut as a children’s author with a motivational poem touting life habits that children should strive for. In the first-person narration, he provides young readers with foundational self-esteem encouragement layered within basketball descriptions: “I promise to run full court and show up each time / to get right back up and let my magic shine.” While the verse is nothing particularly artful, it is heartfelt, and in her illustrations, Mata offers attention-grabbing illustrations of a diverse and enthusiastic group of children. Scenes vary, including classrooms hung with student artwork, an asphalt playground where kids jump double Dutch, and a gym populated with pint-sized basketball players, all clearly part of one bustling neighborhood. Her artistry brings black and brown joy to the forefront of each page. These children evince equal joy in learning and in play. One particularly touching double-page spread depicts two vignettes of a pair of black children, possibly siblings; in one, they cuddle comfortably together, and in the other, the older gives the younger a playful noogie. Adults will appreciate the closing checklist of promises, which emphasize active engagement with school. A closing note very generally introduces principles that underlie the Lebron James Family Foundation’s I Promise School (in Akron, Ohio). (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 15% of actual size.)

Sincere and wholehearted. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-297106-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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