For kids and parents who run, in strollers or otherwise, this hits the right notes.

HENRY'S RIDE

The sounds of a mother running lull a toddler to sleep in this rhyming picture book.

Baby Henry’s mother loves to run. She straps Henry into his stroller and off they go, through the neighborhood, downtown, and to a park. Henry eventually dozes off; when he wakes, they’re almost home. Now, Henry’s mom feels like she needs a nap, but he is ready to be off and running. With the exception of the first page, the verse scans beautifully, always rhyming with the same “pitterpat, pitterpat” sound of the mother’s running feet, encouraging lap readers to chime in on the refrain. The sights and sounds of this stroller run are described in a lovingly familiar way that suburban readers will immediately recognize. Mack’s watercolor illustrations add details unmentioned in the text—over the course of the run, Henry loses both his hat and a sock—that are sure to entertain children and resonate with parents. Mack ably captures both Henry’s energy and his sleepy demeanor. Although the cast is predominantly light-skinned, the people along Henry’s run come in different sizes, shapes, and ages, all friendly to a tyke in a moving stroller. Psychologist Lonczak offers no heavy-handed message in this celebration of togetherness: Henry loves being with his mom and seeing the world from his stroller, where he feels comfortable and safe enough to snooze.

For kids and parents who run, in strollers or otherwise, this hits the right notes.

Pub Date: June 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9786093-2-0

Page Count: 28

Publisher: IngramSpark

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 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?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more