A splash! (Picture book. 2-4)

1, 2, 3, JUMP!

Playful encouragement for new swimmers.

The text’s second-person address to the unnamed protagonist (a child who’s nervous about starting swim lessons) instructs: “The first thing you need to do is put on your suit.” An accompanying illustration shows the pigtailed tot in a suit and tie with a top hat and loafers. “No, not that type of suit. A swimsuit, silly!” comes the clarification. Once the child has changed into a red, girl’s swimsuit, the text follows as the protagonist nervously listens to the swim teacher’s instructions. The other children in the class don’t share the protagonist’s worries, and they happily follow directions while the protagonist hangs back, too scared even to dip a toe in the pool or to blow bubbles, let alone jump into the water. Words and pictures humorously play with meaning, as when the child blows soap bubbles with a wand rather than getting in the pool to blow bubbles in the water. Throughout, the cartoon illustrations amplify the humor, and translucent washes evoke the watery pool setting. By the book’s end, and after lots of patient encouragement, the protagonist is ready to “1…2…3… / JUMP!” into the water, where all the students get to try out flippers as they swim around together. The protagonist appears white, with long, brown hair; the teacher appears black, and the other three children at the lesson have varied skin tones, with two appearing to be children of color.

A splash! (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-681-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

more