While cute, this doesn’t stand out on an already-crowded shelf.



From the Loves You! series

A continuation of James and Brown’s Loves You! series.

As in her previous titles in the series, James’ first-person narrator, a bipedal but unclothed father bunny in Brown’s illustrations, describes the many ways he shares his love and affection with his child. “Daddy loves you, bunny-bear, / much more than words can say. / You are your daddy’s sunshine. / I’ll love you every day.” Readers follow along, the adults possibly remembering their own shared experiences with a father figure, as the father-child duo explores the world, plays together, and beds down at night. The father echoes sentiments common to parents everywhere: “Do your best. Be bold and kind, / be all you want to be. / You’ll be a superhero / …especially to me.” But James missteps when the father says he’ll “protect you, / wherever you may go,” a promise parents can’t always keep. Brilliant spring colors and adorable, loving animals make this a title kids will gravitate toward. Indeed, Dad’s paw atop his tot’s head in a tender caress and the child cradled in their father’s arms, nose to nose, as the sun rises are hard to resist. Labeled a “Keepsake Edition,” the book has a page in the frontmatter designed for a gift inscription and date, and the backmatter has space for a personalized “Special Letter to My Favorite Bunny” and a photo of “Daddy and child.”

While cute, this doesn’t stand out on an already-crowded shelf. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-53411-059-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...


Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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