Kudos to this dad for not only making chores fun and making the most of time with his daughter, but for meeting her on her...

HAMMER AND NAILS

When Darcy’s best friend cancels their play date due to illness, her dad saves the day in style.

Darcy-Daddy Day entails doing one item from Daddy’s list followed by one item from Darcy’s, until both lists are done. Darcy isn’t sure about this plan, but Daddy is game, jumping in with both feet to humor his princess: when it’s Dress Up time, he asks, “Were you thinking fancy or super fancy?” And the result is Daddy sporting jeans, a plaid shirt, and a pink tutu. Before the day is done, he also finds himself in a headband and with black nail polish, having mastered manicures. But he’s not the only one to try new things. Darcy mows the lawn (actually, she rides on the mower while dad mows her name in the grass), does laundry (aka a sock fight and matching socks), and, biggest accomplishment of all, hammers nails in the fence that protects her castle. “ ‘You were great with that hammer.’ // ‘And Daddy—you were great with these nails.’ ” Warrick’s watercolor and digital paint illustrations marvelously play up the dichotomy between the burly, tutu-clad white dad and his girly, white daughter, purse full of tools over her shoulder and tiara on her head. And these chores are certainly ones that readers will want to emulate.

Kudos to this dad for not only making chores fun and making the most of time with his daughter, but for meeting her on her level. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-9362613-6-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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