Artistically inspirational, if not inspired itself

LOVE YOU WHEN...

This love letter of a book from parent to child includes lovely photographs of carefully arranged and painted rocks, but an uninspired text falls short of its original artistic conceit.

An absence of story hinders the book, which excludes character depictions, though an opening shot of a big, red, heart-shaped rock beside a smaller one suggests a parent and child. This picture is followed by a parental voice describing the everyday moments that inspire love, juxtaposed with painted and arranged rock tableaux. For example, a stone painted like the sun precedes text on the next page that says that the parent loves the child when “the first rays of sun light up the early morning sky.” Although the child’s voice had previously asked, “Do you think of me during the day?” it’s unclear whether the child and parent are together or separate at this point, and at many others, throughout the book. The message of parental love is sweet and heartfelt, and the pictures are quite pretty. The sum of the parts, though, ultimately seems less like a picture book to be shared by the sort of parent and child whose voices emerge in the text and more like a gift book or a catalog of photographs to inspire readers to paint and arrange their own rocks.

Artistically inspirational, if not inspired itself . (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58979-703-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Taylor Trade

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby.

BABY GOES TO MARKET

Baby is so charming that various vendors in this West African market gift him all sorts of yummies.

Baby rides on Mama’s back, held snug by a bright cloth wrap. Mama navigates the busy, colorful outdoor market, her woven basket balanced on her head. The text unrolls rhythmically in Atinuke’s storyteller’s voice: “Market is very crowded. Baby is very curious. Baby is so curious that Mrs. Ade, the banana seller, gives Baby six bananas.” Baby eats one and puts the remaining bananas in Mama’s basket. All the while Mama shops, unbeknownst to her, vendors continue to respond to Baby’s transparent delight with five oranges, four “sugary chin-chin biscuits,” three “roasted sweet corn,” and two pieces of coconut. With each delicacy given, Baby eats one and puts the rest in the basket. When Mama sees all the extra foodstuffs she didn’t buy, she’s concerned, until the vendors reassure her: “We gave those things to Baby!” In her debut picture book, Brooksbank offers bright, bustling tableaux of shoppers, vendors, and goods. The smiling, all-black cast sort through myriad wares, while the text keeps up its rhythm, introducing both typical items bought in a West African market and a gentle lesson in arithmetic as Baby alternately snacks on and stashes his gifts.

Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9570-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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