A good book to share with children eagerly awaiting their own siblings.

READ REVIEW

MAMA'S BELLY

A young girl eagerly awaits the arrival of her baby sister and has lots of questions for her parents.

From the physical to the existential, this girl asks them all over the course of what seems to be a single day: “When are you coming out?” “Does my sister know me already?” “Will my sister have freckles?” “Do I have to share my blanket?” “Will your lap ever come back?” “Will you have enough love for both of us?” All are answered satisfactorily, the last with a gentle, “More than all the stars in the sky.” Mama and Papa both encourage the girl to participate in getting ready for the baby and look back with her to the days when she herself was a baby. The brilliant jewel tones on mostly white backgrounds keep the focus on the family relationships and the girl’s shifting emotions. A not-always-subtle leaf motif links the illustrations, sometimes overtly inked in the backgrounds, at other times found in the pattern on a chair or Mama’s dress. Papa is a pale, bearded redhead; Mama is darker skinned with kinky black curls escaping her updo. Their daughter has pale skin, freckles, and wild brown curls. Unlike other new-baby books, the baby has not arrived by the last page, though the colophon does show a cozy family portrait of four.

A good book to share with children eagerly awaiting their own siblings. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2841-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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