The straightforward plot, uncomplicated illustrations, and humorous appearance of the decorated dinosaur dad make this a...

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RORY THE DINOSAUR NEEDS A CHRISTMAS TREE

From the Rory the Dinosaur series

A young dinosaur and his dad search their island for a Christmas tree for their holiday celebration.

In this third outing for the little dinosaur, Rory and his group of animal friends are preparing for Christmas Eve. Rory and his dad have decorated their treetop home with Christmas stockings and garland, but they are missing a Christmas tree. The dinosaurs examine several different trees, but nothing on their lush, green island is quite right for their needs. When father and son return home empty-handed, the other animals arrive for a caroling session, followed by a Christmas story and hot cocoa. Rory’s dad surprises his son on Christmas morning by decorating himself as the Christmas tree, complete with glowing lights and a star-shaped hat. There is a jolly celebration and exchange of gifts before a sweet, concluding hug for the dinosaur duo. Digitally produced illustrations use cartoon-style shapes against plain white backgrounds or minimalist scenes of the dinosaur home and island surroundings. Rory and his dad have only tiny dots for their eyes, so they don’t show much expression, and all the characters have a rather flat and posed feel to them. The story is simple but satisfying, with the caring (and frequently used) theme of enjoying the holiday with friends and family.

The straightforward plot, uncomplicated illustrations, and humorous appearance of the decorated dinosaur dad make this a good choice for younger preschoolers. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-31523-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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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

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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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