MY POP POP AND ME

A baking project turns into an afternoon of adventure and fun for a little boy and his grandfather. An obvious companion piece to the creators’ My Nana and Me (2005), this has the same swirling type and warm pastel palette, using water-based paint on watercolor board. All the sentences begin with a phonically fun verb run—“dip dip,” “scrape scrape,” “slurp slurp”—that also moves the baking project along. Each swirling line of text is also a short rhyme (or near-rhyme): “Pound pound the batter goes round,” “Pish pish the lemon till it’s squished.” Ever-smiling Pop Pop has a white brush of mustache and eyeglasses resting halfway down his nose. The pictures depict a humorously slapdash baking and clean-up process. The pair ends up with a tasty “lemon bar cake bar,” and the reader gets the step-by-step recipe. A slight but delectable bit of whimsy. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-316-73422-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2006

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THERE'S A ROCK CONCERT IN MY BEDROOM

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

LOTS OF LOVE LITTLE ONE

FOREVER AND ALWAYS

So sweet it’ll have readers heading for their toothbrushes.

Another entry in the how-much-I-love-you genre.

The opening spread shows a blue elephant-and-child pair, the child atop the adult, white hearts arcing between their uplifted trunks: “You’re a gift and a blessing in every way. / I love you more each and every day.” From there, the adult elephant goes on to tell the child how they are loved more than all sorts of things, some rhyming better than others: “I love you more than all the spaghetti served in Rome, // and more than each and every dog loves her bone.” More than stars, fireflies, “all the languages spoken in the world,” “all the dancers that have ever twirled,” all the kisses ever given and miles ever driven, “all the adventures you have ahead,” and “all the peanut butter and jelly spread on bread!” Representative of all the world’s languages are “I love you” in several languages (with no pronunciation help): English, Sioux, French, German, Swahili, Spanish, Hawaiian, Chinese, and Arabic (these two last in Roman characters only). Bold colors and simple illustrations with no distracting details keep readers’ focus on the main ideas. Dashed lines give the artwork (and at least one word on every spread) the look of 2-D sewn toys.

So sweet it’ll have readers heading for their toothbrushes. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8398-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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