Children just developing a sense of humor will appreciate the innocent silliness of the tale.

RORY THE DINOSAUR WANTS A PET

From the Rory the Dinosaur series

Rory is a lucky dinosaur. He so much wants a pet, and a pet finds him instead!

First introduced to this sweet anthropomorphized dinosaur in Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad, readers now find him standing on his hands in excitement because he is going to play with his friends. When he meets them at the beach, sloth Hank has a surprise pet to show off. It is none other than a hermit crab. (Climo’s lighthearted approach shows a pet that probably displays as much activity as a sloth could take!) After saying goodbye to his friends, Rory thinks about how much fun it would be to have a pet of his own. When all the possible pets he meets on the way home don’t work out, he accepts he might not find one today. But: lo and behold! A coconut falls from a tree and rolls after him! How could he not keep it, now that it has followed him home? Now named George, the coconut is all that a pet should be, making Rory very happy. The cartoon-style illustrations, achieved with “digital magic,” are set off with plenty of white space, and with just a sentence or two per page, it is an appealing read-aloud.

Children just developing a sense of humor will appreciate the innocent silliness of the tale. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 7, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-27729-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2016

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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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This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

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LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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