Not for motherless kids—but otherwise, amazingly inclusive.

READ REVIEW

HOW MAMAS LOVE THEIR BABIES

This third-wave-feminist text is illustrated by photo collages of human mothers loving their children.

Bold, black lettering marches across strips of white on the first two pages, proclaiming, “Babies love mamas… / and mamas love babies.” Sound familiar? Wait until readers learn how mamas express that love. Both text and art dive into areas generally untouched by traditional mother-love picture books; from the beginning, the text emphasizes, in a string of upbeat sentences, the idea that mothers use their bodies to show their love. In support, the art offers a plethora of unsurprising photographs encompassing many activities, professions, and low-wage jobs—as well as some startling ones. There’s a pregnant woman practicing yoga—caring for her baby in utero—a woman unabashedly breast-feeding, and a sign-wielding strip-tease artist outside a nightclub (“some mamas dance all night long in special shoes. It’s hard work!”). A colorful gallery is packed onto pages printed on paper stock that’s sturdy enough for many toddlers. Throughout the book, the art consists of black-and-white photographs—most, apparently, from the 1960s-’70s era of second-wave, U.S. feminism—enhanced with bright colors, patterns, and materials. Mothers of many different ethnicities, walks of life, and lifestyles are shown loving their equally varied children, whether by caring for them at home or by working outside the home to earn money. Vintage-appearing photographs include marchers with the signs “We are the 51% minority” and “We shall overcome.”

Not for motherless kids—but otherwise, amazingly inclusive. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-93693-200-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Feminist Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Genial starter nonfiction.

THE HUMAN BODY

From the PlayTabs series

Panels activated by sliding tabs introduce youngsters to the human body.

The information is presented in matter-of-fact narration and captioned, graphically simple art featuring rounded lines, oversized heads and eyes, and muted colors. The sliding panels reveal new scenes on both sides of the page, and arrows on the large tabs indicate the direction to pull them (some tabs work left and right and others up and down). Some of the tabs show only slight changes (a white child reaches for a teddy bear, demonstrating how arms and hands work), while others are much more surprising (a different white child runs to a door and on the other side of the panel is shown sitting on the toilet). The double-page spreads employ broad themes as organizers, such as “Your Body,” “Eating Right,” and “Taking Care of Your Body.” Much of the content is focused on the outside of the body, but one panel does slide to reveal an X-ray image of a skeleton. While there are a few dark brown and amber skin tones, it is mostly white children who appear in the pages to demonstrate body movements, self-care, visiting the doctor, senses, and feelings. The companion volume, Baby Animals, employs the same style of sliding panels to introduce youngsters to little critters and their parents, from baboons to penguins.

Genial starter nonfiction. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40800-850-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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Vague, slapdash reassurances to readers growing up in a worrisome world.

THE DON'T WORRY BOOK

Simple comforts for young fretters and overthinkers.

Recycling themes and even some images from The I'm Not Scared Book (2011), Parr first enumerates a selective list of things that can cause anxiety (fears of the dark or of having to go to the doctor, having too much to do, being bullied) and times that worrying can happen. The latter include lying awake in bed, watching TV, "looking at screens too much" (a frazzled-looking person holds a tablet), and overhearing "bad news"—exemplified with an image of a flying saucer, travelers from abroad (of one sort or another) being much on people's minds these days. He then goes on to general coping strategies ranging from taking deep breaths to visiting friends, dancing, squeezing a toy, or just thinking about "everyone who loves and takes care of you!" "Worrying doesn't help you," he concludes, but talking about concerns will. Readers searching for books that address deeper-seated anxiety might be better served by Me and My Fear, by Francesca Sanna (2018). In Parr's thick-lined, minimally detailed illustrations, the artist employs his characteristic technique of adding blue, purple, and bright yellow to the palette of skin tones; he also occasionally switches out human figures for dogs or cats behaving as people would. It's a strategy, though it leaves the cast with a generic look overall.

Vague, slapdash reassurances to readers growing up in a worrisome world. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-50668-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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