Young readers will find much to excite and amaze in this gentle fantastical adventure and visual delight.

CHIRRI & CHIRRA UNDER THE SEA

Chirri and Chirra ride their bikes to a beautiful, magical place.

They unhesitatingly ride into a cave, where, at tunnel’s end, they arrive under the sea. Pedaling all the way and never getting wet, they move along with the current and amid a multitude of fish through a forest of coral. An opening in the seaweed is filled with “seashell sofas,” two of which are reserved for them. They are served lovely, unusual dishes, with the food hiding gifts: a tiny conch for Chirri and a pearl for Chirra. Afterward they pedal to a musical performance and then to a hall presided over by a sea horse, where they may each choose one treasure. Their choices are fitting and satisfying and will remind them of their sea adventure. In this Japanese import the tale is told in the sparest of language, only one or two simple sentences per scene and the “dring-dring” of the bicycles’ bells. The illustrations carry readers along with Chirri and Chirra in the bluest of blue seas, through the waving coral, the lovely, bright, seashell room, the theatre, and the treasure hall—all filled with amusing and surprising details. The children present as stylized Asian girls, informed by the use of the gender-specific “she.”

Young readers will find much to excite and amaze in this gentle fantastical adventure and visual delight. (Picture book/fantasy. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-59270-302-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

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 perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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