A nearly flawless book that invokes nostalgia in older readers and will undoubtedly make newcomers clamor to know what...

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GOODNIGHT, ANNE

INSPIRED BY ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

Move over Goodnight Moon, there’s another book arriving whose winsome titular character will charm generations of children as they drift off to sleep.

Montgomery’s bestselling series about a plucky redheaded orphan who finds a home with the Cuthberts in Green Gables continues to delight children around the world, and this gorgeous picture book inspired by the series undoubtedly will also. George’s text deftly weaves in characters and situations from the series’ first novel, capturing Anne’s inquisitiveness and sense of adventure while providing just enough detail that newcomers to the series (probably most of this book’s audience) can follow the story and those already familiar with it will not be disappointed. The author’s prose melds seamlessly with Godbout’s stunning illustrations, which bring Green Gables and the residents of Avonlea (all white) to life on the page. Her delicate pencil work captures every detail that made generations of readers fall in love with Anne’s story, from the vivid redness of her hair to the lushness of the Prince Edward Island landscape she calls home. When Anne says goodnight to the stars, the double-page–spread illustration is suffused in a dreamy white light so fairylike that it makes readers feel that they, like Anne, can float on air.

A nearly flawless book that invokes nostalgia in older readers and will undoubtedly make newcomers clamor to know what happens next. (Picture book 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77049-926-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

I AM ENOUGH

A feel-good book about self-acceptance.

Empire star Byers and Bobo offer a beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book detailing what one brown-skinned little girl with an impressive Afro appreciates about herself. Relying on similes, the text establishes a pattern with the opening sentence, “Like the sun, I’m here to shine,” and follows it through most of the book. Some of them work well, while others fall flat: “Like the rain, I’m here to pour / and drip and fall until I’m full.” In some vignettes she’s by herself; and in others, pictured along with children of other races. While the book’s pro-diversity message comes through, the didactic and even prideful expressions of self-acceptance make the book exasperatingly preachy—a common pitfall for books by celebrity authors. In contrast, Bobo’s illustrations are visually stunning. After painting the children and the objects with which they interact, such as flowers, books, and a red wagon, in acrylic on board for a traditional look, she scanned the images into Adobe Photoshop and added the backgrounds digitally in chalk. This lends a whimsical feel to such details as a rainbow, a window, wind, and rain—all reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Bobo creates an inclusive world of girls in which wearing glasses, using a wheelchair, wearing a head scarf, and having a big Afro are unconditionally accepted rather than markers for othering.

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266712-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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