This beautiful, sweet, heartfelt message of love and hope for a child will resonate with many.

LIKE THE MOON LOVES THE SKY

Punctuating the narrative with repetitions of “inshallah,” a mother lists the hopes she has for her child in this celebration of unconditional love.

Simple and lyrical verse expresses a parent’s wish of safety, love, happiness, and so much more for her child. “Inshallah you are kind to those most in need. / Inshallah you seek knowledge, reflect, and read.” Saffa Khan’s illustrations complement Hena Khan’s text, bringing to it a sense of movement, change, and liveliness as she ages the child from babe in arms to preschooler. The clear and short sentences deliver a straightforward message of parental love. Using a vibrant, bright, bold palette dominated by orange, blue, and yellow, the illustrations capture this family’s feelings, including such details as Arabic words in the background and an older figure wearing hijab to demonstrate that this is a Muslim family. Family members all have black hair, the brown of their skin varying slightly individual by individual. An author’s note before the title page explains the meaning of the phrase “inshallah,” noting that it is spoken by Muslims worldwide and expresses a “common theme found in other languages and cultures.” This is a lovely addition to the growing collection of diverse books focusing on a family’s unconditional love and addresses the dearth of children’s books inspired by the Quran.

This beautiful, sweet, heartfelt message of love and hope for a child will resonate with many. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-8019-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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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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