SHEILA RAE’S PEPPERMINT STICK

A sweet treat becomes a source of contention between two sisters in this wry tale about sibling relations and the art of sharing. Sheila Rae savors her peppermint candy; relishing its stripy-ness, its thinness, and most of all its toothsome taste. Enter Louise, her younger sister, who would like a sample. In true older-sibling fashion, Sheila Rae establishes a series of nearly impossible tasks for Louise to accomplish in order to have a taste—estimating the correct number of stripes on the candy, dangling it just out of reach—all of which Louise fails. Sheila Rae is lamenting, with just a small smirk, the fact that she doesn’t have two candies when Fate intervenes with a misstep that lands Sheila in a heap and the candy in two pieces. Henkes (Wemberly Worried, 2000, etc.) presents a kid’s-eye view of sibling interactions, deftly portraying the teasing that is part and parcel of these relationships. He does temper Sheila Rae’s superiority in the final page, showing her embracing her little sister and declaring “I was going to give you some all along!” Despite it’s chunky board-book format, this will find a ready and appreciative audience among the preschool set. Expressive illustrations, rendered in a pastel bouquet of hues, offer a comical perspective on a familiar scenario. A winsome introduction to Henkes for younger audiences and, rarest of all, just the right amount of art for a board book. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-06-029451-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2001

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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 good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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