LOUISE LOVES ART

A fresh and bright sibling tale.

“I love art!” declares Louise. She’s splayed on the floor, her face smushed blissfully into pages of her own drawings. Her medium is plain pencil, and she’s prolific. “To be a great artist, you have to notice everything. / Every line…every curve….Wait—hold that pose! I will capture your cat-ness!” Her supple, sinuous black cat willingly strikes various poses, one mimicking Rodin’s The Thinker. There’s nary an adult, but Louise and her cat aren’t alone: Her little brother’s right there, worshipping her. As Louise finishes her pièce de résistance and trots to the kitchen to prepare an exhibition at the Gallery du Fridge, little bro repeatedly bids for her attention. “Not now, Art,” she temporizes—revealing for the first time the title’s double meaning—so Art putters happily behind. With Louise distracted, he uses her art to make into his own. There’s an eruption, of course, but Louise soon sees that Art’s art is all homage. Using plentiful white space, black pencil and red highlights (other colors are present but muted), Light creates breezy, witty illustrations that recall Hilary Knight’s pictures for Kay Thompson’s Eloise, especially on spreads showing one character in many positions. A recurring red double-circle—Louise’s glasses, Art’s drawing of Louise’s glasses and a scissors handle—makes a delightful visual theme to follow.

Cheerfully art-ful. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-224817-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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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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Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby.

BABY GOES TO MARKET

Baby is so charming that various vendors in this West African market gift him all sorts of yummies.

Baby rides on Mama’s back, held snug by a bright cloth wrap. Mama navigates the busy, colorful outdoor market, her woven basket balanced on her head. The text unrolls rhythmically in Atinuke’s storyteller’s voice: “Market is very crowded. Baby is very curious. Baby is so curious that Mrs. Ade, the banana seller, gives Baby six bananas.” Baby eats one and puts the remaining bananas in Mama’s basket. All the while Mama shops, unbeknownst to her, vendors continue to respond to Baby’s transparent delight with five oranges, four “sugary chin-chin biscuits,” three “roasted sweet corn,” and two pieces of coconut. With each delicacy given, Baby eats one and puts the rest in the basket. When Mama sees all the extra foodstuffs she didn’t buy, she’s concerned, until the vendors reassure her: “We gave those things to Baby!” In her debut picture book, Brooksbank offers bright, bustling tableaux of shoppers, vendors, and goods. The smiling, all-black cast sort through myriad wares, while the text keeps up its rhythm, introducing both typical items bought in a West African market and a gentle lesson in arithmetic as Baby alternately snacks on and stashes his gifts.

Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9570-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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