Share with little ones needing a gentle lullaby.

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LULLABY (FOR A BLACK MOTHER)

An urban setting with a calming palette complements the soothing, loving tone of Hughes’ poem celebrating an African-American mother and her baby.

The rhythmic language slowly unfolds with only a line or two per spread. Qualls’ illustrations in acrylic, pencil and collage extend the rich imagery of the text with fantastical qualities that young ones can appreciate. “A necklace of stars” shows mother swinging her baby through a sparkling, celestial, deep purple sky softened with rounded clouds in blues, pinks and grays. The white “[g]reat diamond moon” leads to the next spread, in which mama and child, in a close-up silhouette, “[kiss] the night” amid a burst of stars and with a wavy line of musical notes. This “sleep-song lullaby” is ephemeral, as any sweet song is, but the just-the-right-length note at the end satisfyingly delivers biographical information about the famous poet, while a photo of Hughes as a baby with his mother and the poem’s full text provide further context. This appealing, quiet offering would serve as an appropriate introduction to poetry for new readers since the font is big and much of the vocabulary repeats.

Share with little ones needing a gentle lullaby. (note, further reading) (Picture book/poetry. 2-6)

Pub Date: March 19, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-547-36265-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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