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HURRY, KATE, OR YOU'LL BE LATE!

A tender snapshot of a loving daddy-daughter bond.

Some things are worth the wait.

Oh no! Kate is late for preschool! But why? No, it’s not because she requested chocolate milk at breakfast. It’s not because she and Daddy—both Black—stopped to greet neighbors or because she waved to the garbage trucks, the ambulance, and the cars. Using simple, repetitive prose, Harrington chronicles a variety of activities—buckling a child into a stroller, waiting for the bus—that will be familiar to parents and little ones making the daily trip to school. Periodically stating, “Kate was late for preschool,” the author discusses all the things the two did, all of which have nothing to do with Kate being late, before finally explaining her tardiness—Daddy pauses right before she goes in to give her a warm hug. This tale of a doting father taking his child to school is brightly illustrated in primary colors that pop off the page. Daddy’s affection for Kate comes through clearly, from a scene of him brushing her hair to a moment where he stoops to adjust her backpack and tie her shoe. Small book lovers are sure to respond to the joyful imagery as well as the lyrical bounce of the language. Daddy and Kate’s community is a diverse one. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A tender snapshot of a loving daddy-daughter bond. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4510-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

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 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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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

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