In her first picture book, Gatto offers cheerful, brilliantly colored paintings of children celebrating springtime and Easter pursuits. Her illustrations have a flattened perspective and a childlike simplicity well suited to an abecedary. The text is structured with each letter matched to one springtime item in traditional alphabet-book style, with a rhyming couplet further describing the item included at the top of the spread. The text sometimes struggles with logic, and some rhymes just don’t scan; some verses include God and his influence while others just celebrate springtime. Some illustrations do not have an exact picture-to-text correlation: For example, “C is for caterpillars,” yet there is only one caterpillar in the illustration. Parents and preschoolers will enjoy the joyous, fresh illustrations and the basic alphabet format, as long as they’re not too picky about details. (Religion/picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-310-71662-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Zondervan

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010


A sweet, colorful start for a Christian spiritual journey.

A cheery child gives thanks to God.

“When I see a rainbow / High up in the sky / I say a little prayer of thanks, / And here’s the reason why: // Because God loves me!” This board book’s focus is the comforting notion that God loves all his children, and no matter what, he will always look out for them. The text follows an ABCB rhyme scheme, breaking after every stanza to repeat the phrase “Because God loves me!” The small, light-skinned child has spiky brown hair and wears a dress; both the child and a chubby accompanying dog are appealingly illustrated with a bright, simple color palette and scratchy lines that appear to have been made with colored pencil. God is the only name given for the deity, implying a primarily Christian audience. The book’s message is clear, and its construction is sturdy, suiting this well to parents who are beginning to have conversations with their little readers regarding their beliefs.

A sweet, colorful start for a Christian spiritual journey. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58925-237-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2016


In the end too much is left unanswered, making this book pleasant but only passable

A mouse searches for and finally finds her missing Seder plate.

Pippa is an industrious house-cleaning mouse. And no wonder—Passover is starting this very evening. Dusting and sweeping finished, she turns her attention to setting the table as a pot of chicken stew bubbles away on the stovetop. But there is one very important object that is missing: the “special Seder plate.” Frantically, the mouse searches through boxes and cupboards and finally ventures into the yard. First she encounters a very large cat and asks if it has seen the plate. “No,” answers the cat and points her to a snake, who sends her to an owl, who directs her to Golda Fish, prettily swimming in the water. Success! Kirkfield’s little tale is written in rhyming couplets with much repetition of “QUIVER! QUAVER! SHIVER! SHAKE!” for emphasis with each interaction with a predator, so readers will be mightily puzzled when the formerly frightful critters join Pippa at the holiday table. Weber’s gouache, crayon, and collage illustrations are sweetly pretty. The final illustration features a Seder plate with transliterated Hebrew and an English translation of the components. Readers familiar with the holiday may find this mildly enjoyable, but others will likely want and need more information.

In the end too much is left unanswered, making this book pleasant but only passable . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4162-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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