Next book

LOUISE LOVES ART

Cheerfully art-ful.

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 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

Categories:
Next book

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

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 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

Next book

THERE'S A ROCK CONCERT IN MY BEDROOM

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

Close Quickview