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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Like marshmallow on top of caramel.

I LOVE YOU MORE THAN CHRISTMAS

Little Bear loves everything about Christmas, but there’s one thing he loves even more.

The Bear household is busily getting ready for Christmas. Mommy Bear wraps and bakes; Daddy Bear brings home a humongous tree; Little Bear exults in it all. With each new Christmas tradition that’s introduced, from opening Christmas cards to receiving carolers, Little Bear sings a song that celebrates it. “I love ornaments, and garland, and lights on a string, / candy canes, stockings—and all of the things / that make Christmas perfect—oh, yes, I do! / But the thing that I love more than Christmas is—” But before Little Bear can complete his rhyme, each time he is interrupted by a new element of Christmas to celebrate. Since that terminal rhyme is always set up with one that ends with an “oo” sound, readers will not be surprised in the least when Mommy and Daddy interrupt him one last time with an emphatic “YOU!” It’s all so uber-idealized readers may find themselves gagging on the syrup—it even seems to get at Hattie: Daddy Bear’s smug “What an exceedingly talented family we are” has a whiff of irony to it. Warnes’ cartoon bears inhabit a cozy, middle-class home; while the carolers are clothed, the Bear family is not, but readers may notice a white marking on Mommy Bear’s chest where a string of pearls might rest.

Like marshmallow on top of caramel. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-208-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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