PRESS HERE

One lone, yellow dot sits in the center of a blank, white page. Underneath is the inviting command (affirming the reader's already intrinsic urge): "Press here." Turn the page; now there are two yellow dots! Press again. Now, three! What happens if you tap them? Or tilt the book on its side? Gleefully, the dots scatter like marbles. Readers will clamor to press, poke, shake and blow the pages to find out what happens next. Compared to the squawking sounds and flashing lights of many toys, Tullet's simplicity is a breath of fresh air. He cues page turns with complete mastery of his audience. When all the dots very nearly float off the top of the page (readers may have blown too hard in the previous spread), he suggests what they will already have intuited: "Stand the book up straight / to make those dots drop down again." Clapping once makes the dots grow bigger; "Whoa! Clap twice?" A frenzy of clapping brings readers round to the beginning again. Better read one-on-one to avoid the crush of excited participants; however, all audiences will smile at this visual jolt of imaginative play. Children and parents keen to explore technological interactivity will delight in recalling the infinite possibilities of the picture book. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 16, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8118-7954-5

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Handprint/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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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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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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