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THE MOON IS GOING TO ADDY'S HOUSE

Exquisite, electrifying, soothing, and soporific, brilliant in color and execution, this book beams.

Addy spots the moon as she leaves her city play date and marvels as it follows her all the way back to her country home.

Cut-paper collages construct both urban and woodsy landscapes that throb with vitality. The papers (marbled, speckled, dotted, in floral and geometric designs) cohere effortlessly, creating wonderfully intoxicating illustrations. Their patterns undulate and swirl, producing roiling energy that describes both a city neighborhood humming with strollers, scooters, dogs, and skipping children as well as a windswept, buggy nighttime car ride back home to the country. Children will dote on details nestled in each illustration: flashy feathers on a blackbird’s wing, apartment tenants perched in their windows, folds and patterns in clothing, the arch of a boat’s sail. The moon remains ever present, popping up in different sizes, hues, quadrants of the sky. Breathtaking double-page spreads (in unabashed pinks, purples, and blues) show the moon duplicated, reflected, and enlarged across expanses of sky. Readers, like Addy, feel tethered to Pearle’s moon and to her masterful pictures that manage to communicate the comforting reciprocity found in its presence. Back home, under a gigantic pulsing-pink moon, Addy understands, “It waits and watches over me, / always.

Exquisite, electrifying, soothing, and soporific, brilliant in color and execution, this book beams. (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4054-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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CARPENTER'S HELPER

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story.

A home-renovation project is interrupted by a family of wrens, allowing a young girl an up-close glimpse of nature.

Renata and her father enjoy working on upgrading their bathroom, installing a clawfoot bathtub, and cutting a space for a new window. One warm night, after Papi leaves the window space open, two wrens begin making a nest in the bathroom. Rather than seeing it as an unfortunate delay of their project, Renata and Papi decide to let the avian carpenters continue their work. Renata witnesses the birth of four chicks as their rosy eggs split open “like coats that are suddenly too small.” Renata finds at a crucial moment that she can help the chicks learn to fly, even with the bittersweet knowledge that it will only hasten their exits from her life. Rosen uses lively language and well-chosen details to move the story of the baby birds forward. The text suggests the strong bond built by this Afro-Latinx father and daughter with their ongoing project without needing to point it out explicitly, a light touch in a picture book full of delicate, well-drawn moments and precise wording. Garoche’s drawings are impressively detailed, from the nest’s many small bits to the developing first feathers on the chicks and the wall smudges and exposed wiring of the renovation. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12320-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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HOW TO CATCH A MAMASAURUS

From the How To Catch… series

A syrupy tribute to mothers that may please fans of the series.

Another creature is on the loose.

The long-running series continues its successful formula with this Hallmark card of a book, which features bright illustrations and catchy rhymes. This time, the mythical creature the racially diverse children set out to catch is an absent mom who does it all (lists of descriptors include the words banker, caregiver, nurse, doctor, driver, chef, housekeeper, teacher, entertainer, playmate, laundry service, problem solver, handywoman, cleaner, and alarm clock) but doesn’t seem to have a job outside the home and is inexplicably a dinosaur. As the children prepare gifts and a meal for her, the text becomes an ode to the skills the Mamasaurus possesses (“Day or night she’s always there. / She meets every wish and need”) and values she instills (“Sometimes life can mean hard work,” “kindness matters,” and “what counts is doing your best”). This well-intentioned selection veers into cliche generously sprinkled with saccharine but manages to redeem itself with its appreciation for mothers and all that they may do. Endpapers include a “to” and “from” page framed in a heart, as well as a page where young gift givers or recipients can draw a picture of their Mamasaurus.

A syrupy tribute to mothers that may please fans of the series. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 5, 2024

ISBN: 9781728274300

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2024

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