Rebuses get a text update for a modern love note.

HEART TO HEART

Ehlert combines her iconic cut-paper images of fruits and vegetables with some text-speak to create a rebus story for Valentine’s Day.

The picture-book form and its content don’t mesh all that well, as this describes a romantic love rather than that between two friends or a parent and child. “Do U [carrot] all 4 me? // [peas] give a sign or Q. // [Heart] talks r not EZ, // i [leaf] it up 2u. // But if my plea suc[seeds], // n U say ok, // we could [celery]brate— // N then mayB // r 2 [hearts] //could [beet] as 1 // someday.” Still, there aren’t many children who are not familiar with like sentiments on the ubiquitous seasonal heart-shaped candies, and they will not be able to resist chiming in to name the familiar foods or, if they know their letters and numbers, call out the ones that stand for whole words. Each spread is a different vibrant color that neatly complements the colors of the objects and text on the pages. And the tiny trim size (just under 6 inches square) makes this an intimate book for sharing one-on-one (or an extra-clever valentine for teens and adults to give).

Rebuses get a text update for a modern love note. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8087-1

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A cozy read for bibliophiles.

SNOWMAN'S STORY

With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration.

I LOVE DADDY EVERY DAY

Children point out the things they love about their fathers.

“Daddy is always kind. He gives us support and shelter when things go wrong.” A child with a skinned knee (and downed ice cream cone) gets a bandage and loving pat from Daddy (no shelter is visible, but the child’s concerned sibling sweetly extends their own cone). Daddy’s a storyteller, a magician, supportive, loyal, silly, patient, and he knows everything. A die-cut hole pierces most pages, positioned so that the increasingly smaller holes to come can be seen through it; what it represents in each scene varies, and it does so with also-variable success. The bland, nonrhyming, inconsistent text does little to attract or keep attention, though the die cuts might (until they fall victim to curious fingers). The text also confusingly mixes first-person singular and plural, sometimes on the same page: “Daddy is like a gardener. He lovingly cares for us and watches us grow. I’m his pride and joy!” Even as the text mixes number the illustrations mix metaphors. This particular gardener daddy is pictured shampooing a child during bathtime. Más’ cartoon illustrations are sweet if murkily interpretive, affection clearly conveyed. Troublingly, though, each father and his child(ren) seem to share the same racial presentation and hair color (sometimes even hairstyle!), shutting out many different family constellations. Más does, however, portray several disabilities: children and adults wearing glasses, a child with a cochlear implant, and another using a wheelchair.

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12305-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more