A celebratory proclamation of ultra-inclusive self-love.

READ REVIEW

I LOVE ME!

“I love me from the tip of my nose / all the way down to my ticklish toes.”

Using simple rhyming text with the title as a refrain, this book proclaims various assertions of body positivity. Though there’s a hint at inner worth (“how I share my heart within”), physical features are the main focus here. The text calls out the beauty of many parts of the body, while a diverse ever changing cast of characters with wide, bright smiles perform various activities. The illustrations include many physical types and conditions, a mix of racial appearances, and unspecified gender presentations. Sometimes a depiction seems particularly intentional if also exclusionary, such as when a black child with a prosthetic arm appears accompanying text that reads “I love the way my arms bend and fold”—but nowhere else. The same goes for an arm displaying vitiligo included on the spread for “I love the color of my skin.” Such inclusions on these specific pages directly promote self-love for attributes often erased from certain categories, a distinct positive, but it is a shame they are not included in other areas as well. The message is certain and consistent, with nary a contention or doubt. Varied shapes make each cast member definitively distinct while bold colors enhance the book’s jubilant tone.

A celebratory proclamation of ultra-inclusive self-love. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5064-5554-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beaming Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: tomorrow

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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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Gently encourages empathy, compassion, and consideration.

TOMORROW I'LL BE KIND

How will you behave tomorrow?

Utilizing the same format and concept of her popular Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave (2018), Hische presents young listeners with short, studied rhymes that describe various positive attributes (being helpful, patient, gentle, honest, generous, graceful, and kind). Also included are kid-friendly ways to incorporate these behaviors into daily life, with the underlying goal of making the world a better place. The illustrations, which feature friends in the forms of a mouse, cat, and rabbit, are colorful and appealing, and they extend the text by showing some additional ways of realizing the characteristics mentioned. Overall, the intentions are aboveboard, but this is a volume intended to teach about positive values and behavior, and as such, it comes across as somewhat treacly and proselytizing. The key words, incorporated into the illustrations in a graphic manner, are sometimes a bit difficult to read, and occasionally, select vocabulary and phrases (“to myself I will be true”; “my heart, my guiding light”) seem better suited for an older readership. Still, as an introduction to personality characteristics, beneficial behaviors, and social-emotional skills, this is a solid choice, and fans of the previous volume are likely to embrace this one as well. “I’ll dream of all the good that comes / when we all just do our best,” the text explains—a sentiment that’s hard to rebut.

Gently encourages empathy, compassion, and consideration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-8704-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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