A cockeyed call and response that can’t be read just once.



Interactive picture books have rarely been so goofy (or so full of underpants).

The first instruction on Page 1: “When I say / OOH / you say / AAH / as loudly as you can.” The second instruction is to pat your head if you see red, and the third is to shout “UNDERPANTS” if you see an ant. After a couple of pages of ants and an admonishment to avoid such rudeness, the narrator introduces a donkey named OOH. The loud “AAH” that surely results (because you are following instructions) scares OOH away. When he returns there is an ant on his nose, but the narrator can’t identify it and asks what it is. The response (you’re still following the rules) elicits a dubious “Donkeys don’t wear UNDERPANTS.” OOH returns, and he looks sad; he’s lost something…what could it be? Ants on the next couple of pages will have readers insisting it is underpants. When OOH finds some pink, frilly undies, if readers follow the next instruction (say your name if you see a cloud), they will find themselves claiming those undies as a large, white cloud dominates the next, wordless spread. Kane’s invitation to silliness will, with a willing audience, lead to loads of laughter (and some pretty loud storytimes). The bright, simple, digitally created illustrations alternate with pages of plain text instructions (much of it in all-caps) to complete the package.

A cockeyed call and response that can’t be read just once. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61067-711-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year.


From the Love Monster series

The surprised recipient of a box of chocolates agonizes over whether to eat the whole box himself or share with his friends.

Love Monster is a chocoholic, so when he discovers the box on his doorstep, his mouth waters just thinking about what might be inside; his favorite’s a double chocolate strawberry swirl. The brief thought that he should share these treats with his friends is easily rationalized away. Maybe there won’t be enough for everyone, perhaps someone will eat his favorite, or, even worse, leave him with his least favorite: the coffee one! Bright’s pacing and tone are on target throughout, her words conveying to readers exactly what the monster is thinking and feeling: “So he went into his house. And so did the box of chocolates…without a whisper of a word to anyone.” This is followed by a “queasy-squeezy” feeling akin to guilt and then by a full-tilt run to his friends, chocolates in hand, and a breathless, stream-of-consciousness confession, only to be brought up short by what’s actually in the box. And the moral is just right: “You see, sometimes it’s when you stop to think of others…that you start to find out just how much they think of you.” Monster’s wide eyes and toothy mouth convey his emotions wonderfully, and the simple backgrounds keep the focus on his struggle.

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-00-754030-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.


On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet