Tender and wistful and glorious.

WAIT! WAIT!

A small child is wonder-struck by every creature she encounters.

She wants nothing more than to examine and touch and follow each of them. But a butterfly flutters off into the air, a lizard wiggles away between the rocks, pigeons fly out of reach, and the family cats scat as she nears. As each disappears from view, the little one calls, “Wait! Wait!” Finally, Daddy scoops her up and lovingly guides her as they go off on an adventure of their own. Nakawaki, with the help of translator Kaneko, offers these moments of wonderment and exploration in lovely, spare text, with each word carefully chosen to capture the swift, fluid movements of the creatures and the determination of the curious baby. Sakai’s soft, delicate acrylic-and–oil-pencil illustrations are breathtaking. The butterfly, lizard, pigeons and cats are brilliantly depicted in vivid, accurate detail, while the child is all expressive softness and yearning as she encounters each new experience. Each double-page spread is a sea of white, with a single large-print sentence and a lightly drawn hint of setting, allowing the characters and action to hold center stage. Parents and their little ones will snuggle together to read this joyous evocation of the newness and wonder of the world over and over again.

Tender and wistful and glorious. (Picture book. 1-5)

Pub Date: July 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59270-138-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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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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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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