Pom is the elemental Everychild—and just darlin’.


Dog takes Pom’s Pim in this return of one of the most heart-gladdening creatures on Earth (Pom and Pim, 2014).

Pim is an unidentified stuffed-animal product—say, a big crab cake with four legs and sightless eyes—that is Pom’s companion in their progress through the day. Toddler Pom has a high forehead and a short mop of red hair; he is tubular and berobed in a long, purple sweater. This day, Pom and Pim are at the park. Pom is tossing Pim in the air. Pim likes this: “Pim wants to fly. / Pim is flying high.” Easy-peasy for readers just starting out. Enter stage left a dog that snatches Pim out of the air and hares off. “Where is Pim?” Another dog comforts Pom, and the two search high and low. (Really sharp readers will note that this dog is a mirror image of the dog that made off with Pim and not the same one.) Not under the bench, nor in the rhododendrons. Not in the fountain’s waters—electric fear makes Pom’s hair stand on end—but ho! Here comes the other dog, Pim safely in tow. No more flying for Pim today, especially with that beagle still mooching around. Given a souped-up reading or delivered quietly, Pom’s adventure is a pure grabber.

Pom is the elemental Everychild—and just darlin’. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-927271-73-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.


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 comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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