Though this board book isn’t especially innovative, it’s unquestionably warmhearted.

WELCOME, BABY!

A short and cozy lift-the-flap book catalogs ways families welcome and care for new babies.

Addressing young listeners directly, a declarative sentence on the verso states how the narrator cared for “you” as an infant: “We wrapped you in a snuggly…” reads one, while the answer of “blanket” hides under a blanket-shaped flap. After listing various items a baby needs to thrive, a final fold-out page shows doting adults giving babies the most important thing of all: love. Sweetness abounds, from the familiar cheery Katz art, with heart-shaped lips and oversized heads, cuddly, doll-like babies, and lively, colorful patterns that decorate the flaps and pages. All the pages feature different family constellations, and the diverse male and female caregivers appear nurturing and warm. The use of the phrase “when you came home” is inclusive of adoptive and foster as well as birth families. What’s mystifying is its designation as a “lift-the-flap-book for new babies,” as the text refers to infancy as past, and new babies don’t make guesses or handle flaps. Toddlers preparing for a sibling may enjoy this title and will appreciate the book’s interactivity. Small glimpses of the answers will help cue toddlers, though some of the terms (a “bassinet” as opposed to a crib; a “baby bottle” in a home accustomed to breastfeeding) may be difficult for some viewers to guess.

Though this board book isn’t especially innovative, it’s unquestionably warmhearted. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Dec. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3071-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

Did you like this book?

A wonderfully charming tale of family and sisters that anyone can bond with.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

SISTERS

Two sisters who are constantly at odds take a family road trip that covers more ground—both literally and figuratively—than they expect.

After begging her parents for a sister, Raina gets more than she bargained for once Amara is born. From the moment she was brought home, Amara hasn’t been quite the cuddly playmate that Raina had hoped. As the years pass, the girls bicker constantly and apparently couldn’t be more unalike: Raina spends her time indoors underneath her headphones, and Amara loves animals and the outdoors. The girls, their mother and their little brother all pack up to drive to a family reunion, and it seems like the trip’s just going to be more of the same, with the girls incessantly picking on each other all the way from San Francisco to Colorado. However, when the trip doesn’t go quite as planned—for a number of reasons—the girls manage to find some common ground. Told in then-and-now narratives that are easily discernable in the graphic format, Telgemeier’s tale is laugh-out-loud funny (especially the story about the snake incident) and quietly serious all at once. Her rounded, buoyant art coupled with a masterful capacity for facial expressions complements the writing perfectly. Fans of her previous books Smile (2010) and Drama (2012) shouldn’t miss this one; it’s a winner.

A wonderfully charming tale of family and sisters that anyone can bond with. (Graphic memoir. 7-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-54059-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

more