Hoo doesn’t love a sweet story about grandmas? (Picture book. 3-6)

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ME TOO, GRANDMA!

A child fears the loss of his grandmother’s love.

Young barn owl Ollie gets a big surprise when Grandma introduces him to his new baby cousin, Lily. An even bigger—and unhappier—surprise is that Grandma seemingly loves the baby more and pays her lots more attention. Lily’s charming baby antics and attempts to play don’t persuade Ollie that she’s any fun. When Grandma continues to gush over her, cooing endearments Ollie thinks belong only to him, he’s stricken with jealousy at first. When snack time brings forth only half a cookie for each grandkid, that does it: Ollie breaks down in tears, convinced he doesn’t possess Grandma’s whole heart any longer. Grandma plausibly explains the meager portion. More importantly, she earnestly explains that a grandmother’s love never dims, helping Ollie feel better about himself and the infant. Youngsters dealing with a new sibling or new relative who appears to dominate the family landscape will feel Ollie’s pain here. They will be heartened by the tender, reassuring message that “When a new baby comes along, a grandma grows new love!” The endearing illustrations, rendered in soft browns, white, teal, and purple and featuring a lively trio of winsome, fluffy, and very expressive owls, are delightful and will capture readers’ attention and hearts.

Hoo doesn’t love a sweet story about grandmas? (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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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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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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