Cheerfully art-ful.

READ REVIEW

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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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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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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