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

THE MOON IS GOING TO ADDY'S HOUSE

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 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids.

MY LITTLE BRAVE GIRL

Little girls are given encouragement and assurance so they can meet the challenges of life as they move through the big, wide world.

Delicately soft watercolor-style art depicts naturalistic scenes with a diverse quintet of little girls portraying potential situations they will encounter, as noted by a narrative heavily dependent on a series of clichés. “The stars are high, and you can reach them,” it promises as three of the girls chase fireflies under a star-filled night sky. “Oceans run deep, and you will learn to swim,” it intones as one girl treads water and another leans over the edge of a boat to observe life on the ocean floor. “Your feet will take many steps, my brave little girl. / Let your heart lead the way.” Girls gingerly step across a brook before making their way through a meadow. The point of all these nebulous metaphors seems to be to inculcate in girls the independence, strength, and confidence they’ll need to succeed in their pursuits. Trying new things, such as foods, is a “delicious new adventure.” Though the quiet, gentle text is filled with uplifting words that parents will intuitively relate to or comprehend, the esoteric messages may be a bit sentimental and ambiguous for kids to understand or even connect to. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30072-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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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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