A simple, colorful book that will likely make excellent bedtime reading.

READ REVIEW

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE BIRD

A sweet, lushly illustrated book about a mother bird’s unconditional love for her baby.

Monroe’s debut picture book, in the vein of Sam McBratney’s Guess How Much I Love You (1994), tells the story of a baby bird who asks his mother a series of hypotheticals about how much she loves him. “[W]hat if I roll in the dirt and get mud all over my face and feathers?” he asks, among other similar questions. The mother, of course, reassures the chick repeatedly. When a crisis occurs later in the story and the flock nearly leaves the baby behind, his mother comes through and protects him, proving that she will always love him no matter what. (The conflict is quite minimal, and doesn’t last long enough to frighten smaller children.) Children will likely enjoy reading this book along with a caregiver, and the question-and-answer format makes for a good interactive bedtime story. The illustrations are lovely, with the birds portrayed realistically rather than cartoonishly; the backgrounds have a charming, sketchy quality that calls to mind magazine illustrations of the 1950s and ’60s, and they include small details that may delight younger children. Illustrator Whittaker-Paek conveys motion with vibrant lines uses colors that make the birds appear fluffy and warm. Some of the language is a bit formal for a children’s book; when the mother bird answers her baby’s questions, he is “pleased with his mother’s reply” and “liked his mother’s response,” rather than simply being happy with her answer. However, the prose will introduce small children to longer words and synonyms and won’t detract from a pleasurable reading experience.

A simple, colorful book that will likely make excellent bedtime reading.

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-0615672571

Page Count: 28

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2013

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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