Grandma’s lucky to have all these family members, and young readers are even luckier to be invited to this wonderful family...

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GRANDMA'S TINY HOUSE

A fantastic feast unfolds as Grandma’s family gathers at her very small home.

There are “TWO turkeys send[ing] scrumptious smells through the air,” “FOUR pots of hot greens and ham hocks galore.” And that’s just to start. Beyond the food, there are the bearers of all these treats. “SEVEN cool uncles stroll up in a line, / with EIGHT jugs of lemonade, ice-cold and fine.” This rhyming counting book features a large family with brown skin, mostly of the same shade with some slight variations in skin tone but lots of different hairstyles, body types, and looks. The party doesn’t seem to be celebrating any particular holiday, just an excuse for family, neighbors, and friends (there are a few white faces among the friends) to come together and enjoy a multigenerational summer day. But there is a problem accommodating everyone, and one of the “FIFTEEN hungry grandchildren,” a logical little girl with a yellow headband holding back her Afro, has the solution. She suggests using the backyard, and the party moves outside without skipping a beat. There is a great sense of movement and bustle, and Grandma’s cat and dog can be spotted in each double-page spread.

Grandma’s lucky to have all these family members, and young readers are even luckier to be invited to this wonderful family gathering. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58089-712-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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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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