Tender, joyous, and altogether wonderful.

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OLD DOG BABY BABY

Love and trust abound between a patient, old family dog and a very young baby.

The kitchen floor is the old dog’s place of comfort. But here comes the crawling baby, and it’s playtime. Giggling, poking, rolling, and sharing lots of sloppy kisses, they have a wonderful time. All that activity wears them out, and they snuggle together for a much-needed nap right there under the kitchen table. Fogliano chooses words with great care, creating the sparest of text to form very brief lines of verse in the immediate present tense that describe “old dog” and “baby baby” and their every action and the sounds they make, employing a fast-paced, bouncy, singsong beat. The nearly black, very large type is set against a stark white background, surrounded by brightly hued illustrations in Raschka’s signature style. The blond, chubby, rosy-cheeked, white baby and the gray-and-white furry dog are evoked in soft, thick outline, their movements and emotions effortlessly expressed. Furniture and household items are sharply defined, giving dimension to the setting. Glimpses of mother and big sister as they peruse a photo album and lovingly observe the baby and dog add layers and richness to the proceedings. Text and pictures are seamlessly complementary and interdependent, and little ones and their grown-ups will laugh with delight.

Tender, joyous, and altogether wonderful. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59643-853-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

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LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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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

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