This will delight dino-loving readers eager for the arrival of Christmas.

READ REVIEW

DINO-CHRISTMAS

From the Dino-Holidays series

A town filled with colorful dinosaur characters gets ready for a large-scale Christmas celebration.

The latest dino-book from this author-illustrator pair starts with the arrival of winter, with preparations underway for Dino-Christmastime. Bird’s-eye views show lots of riotous action, including snowball fights, ice skating, and hockey. Kids who can recite the names of every dinosaur will love finding their favorites among the smiling players as they frolic through wintertime activities: “Raptor races. Stego chases. / See the smiles on happy faces. / Pachy pummels! Compy flings! / T. rex tries snow-angel wings.” Simple, rhyming text in trochaic tetrameter propels the fast-paced narrative, although some couplets trip off the tongue more easily than others. Bright, lively illustrations fill the pages with lots of humorous details as the Dino-Christmas Parade gets underway—and a little out of hand thanks to the naughty Ptero twins, who throw snowballs at T. rex. With the arrival of the “main attraction—Santa Claws!”—the twins get their comeuppance. The straightforward plot takes a back seat to the hilarious antics of the dinos romping through the town and across the pages. The last spread hints at the next book to come.

This will delight dino-loving readers eager for the arrival of Christmas. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-0315-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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ALWAYS MORE LOVE

An interactive book works to get its titular message across to readers.

The narrator, an anthropomorphic cartoon heart with big eyes and stick arms and legs, is nothing if not exuberant in its attempts, clumsy and cloying as they may be. “I love you so much, / but there’s more in my heart. / How is that possible? / Well, where do I start? // Now move in close, and you will see / just how much you mean to me. // My love is huge—below, above. / As you can tell, there’s always more love!” The page following the instruction to move in shows a close-up of the top of the heart and its eyes, one stick arm pointing skyward, though despite the admonition “you can tell,” readers will glean nothing about love from this picture. À la Hervé Tullet, the book prompts readers to act, but the instructions can sometimes be confusing (see above) and are largely irrelevant to the following spread, supposedly triggered by the suggested actions. The heart, suddenly supplied with a painter’s palette and a beret and surrounded by blobs of color, instructs readers to “Shake the book to see what I can be.” The page turn reveals hearts of all different colors, one rainbow-striped, and then different shapes. Most troublingly, the heart, who is clearly meant to be a stand-in for loved ones, states, “I’m always here for you,” which for too many children is heartbreakingly not true.

Skip. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1376-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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This Mother’s Day tale is rather limited in its audience to those who can afford fancy brunch after their own religious...

THE BERENSTAIN BEARS MOTHER'S DAY BLESSINGS

From the Berenstain Bears series

The Berenstains’ son adds a Mother’s Day entry to the series, continuing the adventures of the Bear family with a religious focus.

Brother, Sister, and Honey want to do something special for Mama for Mother’s Day, and Papa helps them think of just the thing—brunch at the Bear Country Inn after church—and they can invite Grizzly Gran, too. On the ride to church, Mama points out all the ways other families are celebrating their own mothers even though these community helpers are working on the holiday: Officer Marguerite’s children bring her flowers as she directs traffic, and Mrs. Ben’s children are pitching in with farm chores. Indeed, the trip to church is eye-opening for the cubs, who never realized that some of their neighbors even had children. During the church service, Preacher Brown thanks God for the gift of mothers and quotes the Bible: “Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches.” While the illustrations are the same as ever (the smiling bears haven’t aged a bit!), the series seems to have moved away from addressing a variety of families.

This Mother’s Day tale is rather limited in its audience to those who can afford fancy brunch after their own religious services, contrary to its apparent message that being together is all that matters. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-310-74869-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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