A good pick for reading aloud at any time of day.



A split narrative follows Harry and his daddy through their days and nights.

Daddy is just heading out to start his workday when Harry comes home at the end of the day with Gran. While Daddy helps travelers settle into the sleeping cars on the London-Penzance train, where he works as a conductor, Harry’s mother and grandmother care for him and his baby brother. Although Daddy is apart from them, he’s very much present in their routines and surroundings. Family photos include Daddy, the boys reference trains in their play, and at dinner, “Harry helps Baby open wide for mushy peas. Chug–chug–chug. Here comes the train.” Parts of the text adopt a rhythmic, rhyming cadence that adds a lyrical quality to an oral reading: “Whoo-who sings the train, rocking on its way. / ‘Coo-coo,’ says Baby, wishing he could play.” Movement in and out of this style keeps the text light and nimble in its use of poetic conventions. Watercolor-and-ink illustrations are warm in their palette and in their expressions of affection among the family members, especially when Daddy returns in the morning at the end of his shift, just as Harry and the others begin their day. The whole family appears white with light skin and reddish-brown hair.

A good pick for reading aloud at any time of day. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: April 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5450-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.


From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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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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