Winning text and illustrations for bedtime.

WHEN I GROW UP

A small child muses about the future as Mom guides the bedtime routine.

The premise and the characters are established from the start. Large, black lettering on the verso says, “Mom, when I grow up, what do you think I will be?” On the opposite page, plenty of white, negative space surrounds the opening scene: A small child stands on the bed, hand reaching out to a friendly pet dachshund, as Mom begins unlacing the child’s pale green hoodie. Mother and child have dark hair and pink-cheeked faces a shade lighter than the dog’s brown fur—all rendered with masterful control of ink sketching and pastel washes. All three have equally sweet facial expressions. Throughout the text, the child questions Mom about possible future traits and characteristics, occupations, and accomplishments. Such fanciful questions as “Will I be the mayor and let kids run the town?” are matched by equally imaginative illustrations, with the added treat of the dachshund’s inclusion (here the pup serves as aide as a multiethnic group of reporters attend a press conference). The depiction of the child as musician is especially lovely: Child and dog sit beneath a tree as the child pipes and birds fill its branches. Funny artwork extends the narrative with a subplot in which Mom struggles to get her child’s clothes off, hair brushed, etc. Young children will love the repetition of “Will I be…?” Mom talks just enough at the end to prepare both child and readers for sweet dreams.

Winning text and illustrations for bedtime. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9719-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

more