A good choice for the youngest dancers of all genders.

GOODNIGHT, LITTLE DANCER

A pair of siblings dances their way to sleep in this ballet-themed bedtime book.

The brown-skinned duo with curly hair has reached the end of their day. A narrator with a caregiver’s voice tells them, “It’s time for bed now, little dancer,” as they pose, wearing pajamas, in the softly lit living room. They make their way to a bedroom, still prancing and stretching, and say goodnight to their ballet props: ribbons and slippers. The lightly rhyming text tells the two to “practice steps inside your head. // Tomorrow you’ll be on the stage. // But now let’s tuck you into bed.” The children, one with long, voluminous hair (and, oddly, no scarf or wrap), the other with close-cropped hair, lie in twin beds side by side and dream of dancing together. This simple text moves swiftly, with one or two lines per spread, making a short, sweet goodnight story ideal for weary adults to help dance-obsessed young children settle into bed at the end of a long day. The amicable sibling relationship is a pleasant reprieve from feistier depictions. The soft colors are soothing and calming, as are the children’s enduring smiles. In companion title Goodnight, Little Superhero, pale-skinned siblings say goodnight to their capes and other gear. The text employs a similar pattern and voice; the colors are a bit brighter but still suitable for nighttime.

A good choice for the youngest dancers of all genders. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-31004-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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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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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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