Another way to banish imagination’s monsters, as well as being great fun to read, alone or aloud—with, of course,...

THE BIG MONSTER SNOREY BOOK

Large monsters are hungry for little monsters when they wake from their snoozes…but one little monster has a clever plan to scare them off.

Big, winding ribbons of ZZZZZZZs and alliterative foolery take center stage here as, armed with a microphone and recording device, a diminutive green fuzzball creeps past a series of much larger sleeping monsters. “First is Norris. He has a monster cold. While he sleeps, his tiny toothypegs chitter and chatter and his knobbly knees knock.” Other nappers “jibber-jabber,” “tippy-tap” with “terribly tatty toenails,” or issue alimentary “gurgles and growls” as they saw away. And so, when the sleepers at last wake and cast about for a snack, it’s their own noises, fed back at HIGH VOLUME, that put them to flight and allow the tiny trickster to bed down peacefully in a comfy shoe. Depicted in scribbles and scrabbles and appropriately loud colors, Hodgkinson’s collage monsters look like huge, comical cousins to Ed Emberley’s Big Green anxiety-banisher.

Another way to banish imagination’s monsters, as well as being great fun to read, alone or aloud—with, of course, exaggerated sound effects. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8660-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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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 sweet, poetic ode to autumn.

IF YOU FIND A LEAF

A rhyming celebration of imagination.

A child with brown skin offers gentle, artful ideas about what to do with autumn leaves. The picture book's idyllic setting seems Northeastern in nature, with deciduous trees shedding leaves, which the child scoops up. Could a leaf from a tree become a hat, a Halloween mask, a hammock, or something else entirely? "It could be a horn that blows, announcing that we're here. // A leafy parade to celebrate our favorite time of year." Rhyme rules the text but isn't forced in the least. Collaged leaves against painted illustrations encourage play and imagination. A nod to winter and spring make this a year-round read. Endpapers with realistic labeled images of leaves provide an injection of information in this otherwise dreamy musing. The backmatter includes instructions on collaging—a meaningful and fun activity that builds upon the text. While there's nothing groundbreaking here, there is opportunity for both learning and whimsy. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A sweet, poetic ode to autumn. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30659-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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