This playful story proves that small spaces can feel large with a little imagination.

READ REVIEW

OUR BIG LITTLE PLACE

A gentle family tale that reflects the diversity of a big city.

The story opens on a bright but cluttered home and a smiling young preschool-age child. Set against a city skyline, the plot follows the daily routine of a family of three and highlights what they do for fun when space is at a premium—like shooting hoops indoors with a mini basketball. The unnamed narrator explains that the cramped apartment “always seems big to me.” Scenes in the park between apartment buildings, which the child describes as “our backyard,” depict diverse friends who include children of color and a child who uses a wheelchair. When the weather turns stormy, the child and Aunt Elizabeth must fight boredom indoors by recruiting friends from the apartment building for a trike-and-wheelchair race in the halls. Imaginary play ends the day, and the whole family joins in on the game—it’s clear that their tiny household is big on fun. LaLonde’s illustrations are bold and cheerful and include sweet details like a stuffed squid and crayon-doodled sheets of paper; their clean simplicity is a good complement to the convincingly childlike narration. Mom and Aunt Elizabeth have medium brown skin and black hair, Dad is white, and the biracial protagonist’s skin tone falls in between.

This playful story proves that small spaces can feel large with a little imagination. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77321-317-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 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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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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