A sparkling story whose fresh words and deeply imagined, skillfully rendered illustrations give it a feel that is both...

GOOD NIGHT WIND

At the end of winter, the tired winter wind searches for “a place to rest.”

Inspired by a Yiddish story, author Marshall uses fresh language to reimagine this tale of the winter wind, exhausted after working all winter blowing leaves off trees and sculpting snow drifts for children, now looking for a respite. But all the places it tries to settle down—the cozy houses, a tree trunk, a rock—reject it because, of course, it’s the icy winter wind. When it rattles the windows of a remote cabin, frightening a young boy, the boy’s sister demands that the wind stop and tells her brother that “Wind is acting like a tired, angry baby.” The boy replies, with impeccable child logic, “Maybe Wind needs a nap?” The two children guide the wind to a cave, where the wind gratefully hunkers down. While the story is wonderfully inviting in itself, illustrator Doliveux’s images, created using dioramas constructed from cut-paper collage, then lit and photographed, are wondrous. Winter Wind is a swirling mass of paper strips in cool blues and whites with dark, expressive eyes. By contrast, the cozy rooms and houses are rendered in warm colors and steady lines to give viewers a sense of order and warmth. Both white and brown-skinned people are depicted.

A sparkling story whose fresh words and deeply imagined, skillfully rendered illustrations give it a feel that is both contemporary and folkloric. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3788-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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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 comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

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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