This book overflows with affection—and you can never have too much of that.

READ REVIEW

DON'T SAY A WORD, MAMÁ / NO DIGAS NADA, MAMÁ

Mamá has always been proud of her loving daughters, even when they’ve grown.

Rosa, her husband and their three children live “in a little house just down the street from her mother.” Sister Blanca lives alone “in a little house just up the street from her mother.” One year, each sister plants a garden, growing tomatoes, corn and “good hot chiles.” Each woman gives their mother some and tells her that she is going to give her sister half her yield—but: “Don’t say a word, Mamá!” In the night, each unknowingly passes the other with a basketful and leaves it in her sister’s empty kitchen. In the morning, each is astonished at the enormous pile of tomatoes and gives still more to her mother, who accepts them with a shrug: “you can never have too many tomatoes.” This is repeated with the luxuriant crop of corn, but Mamá at last spills the beans—or rather the peppers—as she can’t manage a similar surplus of chiles. Storyteller Hayes uses repetition, parallel structure and short sentences masterfully, unspooling a sweet family tale that never turns saccharine. His own Spanish translation appears alongside the English text. Andrade Valencia contributes highly saturated paintings that combine a folk aesthetic with magical realism, playfully depicting anthropomorphized vegetables marrying and having babies as the sisters marvel at the bounty.

This book overflows with affection—and you can never have too much of that. (Bilingual picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-935955-29-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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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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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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