Though the flippable format doesn’t add much, the illustrations are eye-catching.


In this two-in-one board book, discover the joys of various seasons.

With one half of the book dedicated to winter and the other half to spring, the two sections are bound back to back, necessitating a turn upside down in the middle. While some books use this two-part format in innovative ways that enhance the story, this flip feels cumbersome, as it adds no real richness and serves only to slow readers down. As a read-aloud, it stumbles as well, as the meter in the short couplets is off in places, and even when the rhyme does scan, lines such as “snowman to make / ponds to skate” are none too exciting. Flat, graphically simplified illustrations feature a multiracial cast of characters with round faces, black dotted eyes, and small, semicircular smiles, making them look like mildly exaggerated emojis. Sometimes these depictions of people work; other times they look misshapen, like oddly proportioned clothes perched upon a personified lightbulb. Better are the richly colored and stylized close-ups of seasonal objects like colorful cups of cocoa, red-and-white striped socks and vividly black-and-gold bumblebees. These bright, rounded objects are adorable, especially those with cute, kawaii-style happy faces. A companion book dedicated to summer and fall is slightly stronger, with catchier rhymes and lots of seasonal brightness.

Though the flippable format doesn’t add much, the illustrations are eye-catching. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4598-2109-5

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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


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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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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