The attractive, sharp photos and simple text, counteracting many stereotypes, can be used to introduce the concept that...

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OMER'S FAVORITE PLACE

Omer’s infectious smile will draw young readers into this photo essay detailing everyday life in an Ethiopian middle-class family.

Omer invites them to figure out his favorite spot to play. He mentions Korki (described as “a game like marbles”) but played with metal bottle caps, Atamata (“an Ethiopian clapping game”) and Gebeta—“an African counting game,” also known as Mancala in some countries. Most of his toys are instantly recognizable, as are the house furnishings save for some of the coffee-making equipment and the griddle for the injera, the Ethiopian staple pancake. Omer introduces readers to his parents, two sisters, his aunt, a nanny and a maid. Like many little boys, he always seems to be in the way, so he finds a special place where he can curl up with a book, use his crayons or have a snack. The insular scope of the text doesn’t include his location, except for a mention on the jacket flap and in the very short glossary opposite the title page (which provides page numbers for references, a well-intentioned but confusing gesture, as the pages are not numbered).

The attractive, sharp photos and simple text, counteracting many stereotypes, can be used to introduce the concept that children in different countries have similar needs and feelings, especially when it comes to fun. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-84780-241-5

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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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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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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