Readers in this living situation (both adult and child) will find comfort in the reminder that two is enough for support and...

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TWO IS ENOUGH

Two is all you need for a family.

Be it a mother and child, a father and child, or a grandparent and grandchild, two is plenty when you are surrounded by love. Modern families come in all shapes and combinations, and here Matthies happily celebrates the two-person family. Bouncing rhymes, always starting with the gentle platitude “two is enough,” follow various ethnically diverse familial pairs as the seasons change. In winter, after a snowball fight and creating a snowman family (of two, naturally), “Two is enough for a warm-you-up hug, / For toasting hot chocolate, mug against mug.” In spring, after a rainy-day bike ride, “Two is enough for scattering seeds, / For giving bouquets and a necklace of weeds.” Some instances falter a bit (how many children refer to cleaning as “refreshing the nest?”), but most are honest and true. Mourning’s wispy figures playfully cavort through the four seasons, with large smiles, high-fives, and hugs. There is no shortage of encouragement and love. In a bit of a design flaw, to some readers, the pairs on individual pages may automatically combine when looking at a full double-page spread to form one family, since the background landscapes are often shared.

Readers in this living situation (both adult and child) will find comfort in the reminder that two is enough for support and love. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7624-5561-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 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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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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