Pak’s heartening tale about intergenerational caring warms the soul.

READ REVIEW

MY GRANDPA'S CHAIR

A granddaughter wants to find the perfect chair to cheer her grandfather up but learns it’s the company you sit with that matters most.

Grandpa used to love sitting on the couch and reading, but not anymore. His granddaughter, a little brunette with pigtail poofs, assumes the couch itself is the cause for his discontent, so she takes him furniture shopping. Together they test and measure their options until Grandpa orders a custom-built chair—that’s too fancy to use. Hoping to lift his spirits, the peach-complexioned girl suggests the park, where, as they sit side by side on a stump and read, Grandpa finds his happy place. Playful end pages showcase the artist’s strength at creating attractive and unusual elements with simple colors and patterns. This naïve style is applied with skill; however, the artist’s use of digital tools to collage her elements yields work that lacks the spontaneity of analog. The girl’s ebullience and the sheer good-heartedness of the story help to compensate for this. Observant readers may find cause for Grandpa’s sadness, as framed pictures show Grandpa with a smiling, gray-haired woman who is absent from the story.

Pak’s heartening tale about intergenerational caring warms the soul. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-0075-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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