Sweet but not extraordinary, which just may be the point.

READ REVIEW

THE DAY I RAN AWAY

Toddler Grace tells her dad about the rough day she had.

“ ‘Guess what, Daddy.’ / ‘What?’ / ‘Today I ran away.’ / ‘You did? Why?’ ” In this Q-and-A format, she relates the events of the day. First, her favorite purple shirt’s dirty, so she has to wear a white one. Daddy understands. Then at breakfast, her favorite cereal’s “all gone,” but that’s not all. Those problems spark a tantrum, which causes Mom to send her to her room. In making Mom an I’m-sorry card, Grace decides she’ll also make her white shirt purple with markers. Mom takes away her markers, and that’s when Grace decides to run away. She announces her intentions at lunch; Mom obligingly fixes it to go. Grace can’t run far (not allowed to cross the street), but Mom suggests a tent in the yard. Spaghetti dinner calls Grace, her dog, and her stuffed rabbit home, but she doesn’t pack up; she’s had so much fun, she’s running away tomorrow, too. Niner’s tale, told entirely in dialogue at bedtime, will be familiar to most toddlers, though not every set of parents is so indulgent and understanding. The typeface and color are different for each speaker (Grace’s is, of course, purple). Ongaro’s illustrations, drawn by hand but colored electronically, alternate between the evening bedroom and the events of the day, depicting Grace and her parents as white. The bright and cheery images add needed detail to the spare tale.

Sweet but not extraordinary, which just may be the point. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-936261-89-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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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...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

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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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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