An adorable, silly, heartwarming rhyme celebrating babies and the joy they bring to their families.

Babies rain down from the sky and play together before meeting their families.

Baby shower takes on a new meaning when babies, who range in skin tone, float down from the sky, using umbrellas as parachutes. These rounded, happy figures—some in cute patterned onesies, others in solid colors—aren’t newborns but appear to be about 6 to 14 months old: They sit, crawl, babble, hold hands, reach, roll, toddle, and even jump. There is one set of twins, and one baby wears glasses. Simple rhyming text, delightful to read aloud, describes the babies’ activities, with a refrain of “Babies here! Babies there! / Babies raining everywhere!” Each page is full of babies—and teddy bears and dogs—but no adults appear until the penultimate spread, which answers the question, “Why did they come? / What could it be? / Who did each baby come to see? // They’re here to meet their family!” This double-page spread depicts a racially diverse group of families: mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings. This one is a strong candidate for baby or toddler storytimes as well as for sharing one-on-one. For families expecting a younger sibling, this whimsical take would pair well with Alison McGhee’s poetic World So Wide (illustrated by Kate Alizadeh, 2020) or Sophie Blackall’s more factual The Baby Tree (2014). (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An adorable, silly, heartwarming rhyme celebrating babies and the joy they bring to their families. (Picture book. 0-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-32463-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022



From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2019


A joyful celebration.

Families in a variety of configurations play, dance, and celebrate together.

The rhymed verse, based on a song from the Noodle Loaf children’s podcast, declares that “Families belong / Together like a puzzle / Different-sized people / One big snuggle.” The accompanying image shows an interracial couple of caregivers (one with brown skin and one pale) cuddling with a pajama-clad toddler with light brown skin and surrounded by two cats and a dog. Subsequent pages show a wide array of families with members of many different racial presentations engaging in bike and bus rides, indoor dance parties, and more. In some, readers see only one caregiver: a father or a grandparent, perhaps. One same-sex couple with two children in tow are expecting another child. Smart’s illustrations are playful and expressive, curating the most joyful moments of family life. The verse, punctuated by the word together, frequently set in oversized font, is gently inclusive at its best but may trip up readers with its irregular rhythms. The song that inspired the book can be found on the Noodle Loaf website.

A joyful celebration. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22276-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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