Kate and Nate can run, run, run, but they do not have much fun.


A single, working mom and her two children oversleep and rush through their morning routine only to discover the shocking truth when they get to school: It is Saturday.

Egan’s rhyming narrative is cumbersome at times: “ ‘It’s getting late,’ announces Nate. / Kate rolls over, rubs her eyes. / She sits up straight. ‘Oh that’s just great. / Not again!’ Nate’s mother sighs.” The harried parent leaps across the double-page spread, dog at her heels, son attached to one hand (he's airborne from the speed). While mom is efficient and her children cooperative, each contributes to the delay. Once outside, Nate’s need for his forgotten bunny leads to his slipping on ice, falling into mud and having a meltdown, for instance. Yaccarino’s signature gouache caricatures, rendered in flat colors and aerodynamic shapes, are oddly mismatched with the text at this point, and whereas the story has heretofore been a play-by-play description, the stuffed animal is confusingly inserted here without any retrieval scene. The mud puddle, too, is a strange contrivance in relation to the previous page’s snow-covered landscape. (Through the kitchen window, the view is green—go figure.) The conclusion is more discomfiting than amusing, given that mom has become “too tense to talk” as she “squeal[s] down streets” in the car. A muddled effort.

Kate and Nate can run, run, run, but they do not have much fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-250-00080-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?


It may be his mothers’ wedding day, but it’s Donovan’s big day in Newman’s (Heather Has Two Mommies, 1989, etc.) latest picture book about queer family life. Centered on the child’s experience and refreshingly eschewing reference to controversy, the book emerges as a celebration of not only Mommy’s and Mama’s mutual love but progress toward equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Readers, however, don't know immediately know why it is “a very BIG day” for Donovan or what the “very BIG job” is that he has to do. In his affectionate, humorous gouache paintings with digital finish, Dutton cleverly includes clues in the form of family pictures in an earlier spread set inside their home, and then a later spread shows Donovan in a suit and placing a “little white satin box that Aunt Jennifer gave him” into his pocket, hinting toward his role as ring bearer. But it’s not until the third-to-last spread that he stands with his parents and hands “one shiny gold ring to Mommy [and] one shiny gold ring to Mama.” He, of course, gets to kiss the brides on the last page, lending a happily-ever-after sensibility to the end of this story about a family's new beginning. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-332-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet