A delightful, onomatopoeic introduction to the interactive sounds of awakening animals.


A mouse inadvertently ignites an early-morning chain reaction.

As a breeze tickles his ear, a small mouse wakes with a wee “SQUEAK,” disturbing chipmunks in the branches above. Their chitter-chatter dislodges pine cones that “KERPLOP” into the river, prompting resting trout to leap with a “SPLISH” and a “SPLASH.” This awakens a sleeping elk, whose antlers bump a cottonwood tree with a resounding “KA-BONK!” In response, an eagle nesting in the tree takes flight with a “WAH-WHOOOOSH,” waking bear cubs in a cave, which causes their grumpy mother to “GRRRRRRR!” A nearby wolf pack joins in with yips and long, drawn-out howls, triggering a bighorn lamb to disturb loose rocks and gravel with a “RUMBLE BUMBLE BOOOOOOM!” An irritated bison bellows a loud “ARRRGRUMMMPHH!” Soon all creatures in the valley are awake and participating in a boisterous cacophony. Sprightly double-page spreads, realistically rendered with bold outlines of black gouache digitally colored in Photoshop, create the ideal backdrop for this unfolding medley. From the opening spread of the barely visible mouse asleep beneath a towering tree foregrounding a vista of river, meadow, and bluffs, each page turn artfully leads from one amusing event to the next, highlighting each animal in its habitat, while prominent placement of animal sounds in large font reinforces the auditory theme.

A delightful, onomatopoeic introduction to the interactive sounds of awakening animals. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51815-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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As ephemeral as a valentine.


Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...


Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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