NEXT TO YOU by Lori Haskins Houran

NEXT TO YOU

A Book of Adorableness
Age Range: 2 - 5
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

What could possibly be more adorable than lots of fuzzy baby animals with biiig dark eyes, stubby little legs (oooh), and waggy tails (awww)? Take a guess.

Redeemed from Joan Walsh Anglund–style saccharinity by its playful tone, the narrative weighs a succession of stereotypically cute, small creatures against a never-seen “you” and finds them wanting. “Two kittens with a ball of yarn? / A line of fuzzy yellow ducklings? // A squirrel eating a doughnut with his tiny hands? / Adorable, sure. But next to you? Meh.” Hanson follows suit in her bright illustrations, the roly-poly darlings in her bright illustrations placed on white space for maximum focus. They sport oversized heads with fetching smiles and wide, slightly crossed eyes—hard but not, with a little effort, impossible to resist. The appearance of a newborn giraffe (“SO. UNBELIEVABLY. SWEET”) brings a suspenseful moment of weakness, but “No! NO WAY! They are NOT as adorable as you. Not NEARLY.” Whew! “Next to you, even a baby seal doesn’t stand a chance,” Houran concludes. “And you know what? I’m happy to be…next to you.” All those baby animals sleeping together in a heap at the end amount to nothing less than a nearly lethal overdose of cuteness.

A refreshing alternative to hypersentimental entries in the “I love you more than anything!” genre: sincere without being goopy. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-8075-5600-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Whitman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2015




MORE BY LORI HASKINS HOURAN

ChildrenHOW TO SPY ON A SHARK by Lori Haskins Houran
by Lori Haskins Houran
ChildrenTHE $25,000 FLIGHT by Lori Haskins Houran
by Lori Haskins Houran

MORE BY SYDNEY HANSON

ChildrenESCARGOT by Dashka Slater
by Dashka Slater
ChildrenPANDA PANTS by Jacqueline Davies
by Jacqueline Davies
ChildrenTHE MEAN GIRL MELTDOWN by Lindsay Eyre
by Lindsay Eyre

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenI KISSED THE BABY! by Mary Murphy
by Mary Murphy
ChildrenLOVE YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING by Anna Harber Freeman
by Anna Harber Freeman
ChildrenSO MUCH by Trish Cooke
by Trish Cooke
ChildrenALL WE KNOW by Linda Ashman
by Linda Ashman