A well-illustrated, informative story about a painful chronic condition.

MIGRAINE AND MIA

A girl explains what having a migraine feels like in Harrison’s picture book.

Mia, who has light skin and dark hair, has chronic migraines—“the opposite of fun.” The debilitating condition is more than just a headache, she explains. A migraine is “a full-body pain parade that’ll make your stomach swashbuckle and your skin swelter.” The painful episodes can occur any time, even if you’re “in the middle of biting into the world’s best donut.” Things like the weather, certain smells, and light “can hurt and make a migraine grow.” The senses are often affected, too—migraines “can make you see dots, or stripes or…an aura,” and they can sound like a “rapid heartbeat with the volume turned up, or a ringing bell.” Finally, Mia recommends that if you meet someone with a migraine, “build them a comfy and cozy cave” where they can recuperate. Mia is a spirited protagonist. Her creative language and animated examples are educational and kid-friendly. The story will comfort youngsters with chronic migraines and provide resourceful, helpful insights for friends and family of all ages. Belle’s appealing illustrations, which look hand-painted, offer imaginative scenes. For instance, when Mia explains that a migraine can cause irritation that feels like “a prickly cactus playing hopscotch on your skin,” an anthropomorphic cactus hops on her arm. Bold backdrops and swirls of color, texture, and patterns surround Mia as she describes a migraine’s visual manifestations. Includes a fact sheet from American Migraine Foundation.

A well-illustrated, informative story about a painful chronic condition.

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-954614-35-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Warren Publishing, Inc.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits.

PLANTS FEED ME

This simplest of informational picture books offers a sensible, sunny celebration of the plants—specifically the parts of plants—that we eat.

The opening scene shows a boy seated at table surrounded by a rich harvest. He’s holding a watermelon rind that mirrors the wide grin he wears, helping to set the good-natured tone of the book. As preschoolers examine the pages, they will learn about the featured fruits and vegetables and how they grew. Warm gouache-and–colored-pencil illustrations first depict a garden where “Plants reach up for the sun. / They grow down in the ground.” As the narrator goes on to explain that “I eat different parts from different plants,” such as roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, flowers and seeds, youngsters will find labeled images to peruse. The short, declarative sentences are easily digested by the very youngest and will tempt burgeoning readers to test their skills. Best of all, children will surely be inspired to taste some of the produce the next time it appears on their plates.

Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits. (Informational picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2526-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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