Small and reminiscent of the emotional feel of The Runaway Bunny, this is an intimate bedtime book with a global theme....

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HOW FAR DO YOU LOVE ME?

A simple question enables the author/illustrator to travel around the world in her poetic and visual answers.

Starting on a Vieques, Puerto Rico, beach, a mother answers the question posed by her son and tells him her love ranges to places as far-flung as the glaciers of Antarctica, the Ladakh Himalayas and the Great Barrier Reef. Delacre uses her soft pastels to depict such images as the sinuous natural forms of a desert in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, where a woman in traditional dress cradles an infant, and the text reads: “I love you to the crests of the desert / where the wind sweeps sand from the dunes.” As the book comes full circle, the original mother tucks her son in and asks, “And how far do you love me?” He answers, “I love you to the moon!” On the last page, in a beautiful, deep night sky, the question appears in different languages in original scripts (with no transliterations or pronunciations, a missed opportunity). Although the place names on each double-page spread can be difficult to read, that information is also provided on a map at the end.

Small and reminiscent of the emotional feel of The Runaway Bunny, this is an intimate bedtime book with a global theme. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-60060-882-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Banal affirmation buoyed by charming illustrations.

I BELIEVE I CAN

Diversity is the face of this picture book designed to inspire confidence in children.

Fans of Byers and Bobo’s I Am Enough (2018) will enjoy this book that comes with a universal message of self-acceptance. A line of children practices ballet at the barre; refreshingly, two of the four are visibly (and adorably) pudgy. Another group tends a couple of raised beds; one of them wears hijab. Two more children coax a trepidatious friend down a steep slide. Further images, of children pretending to be pirates, dragons, mimes, playing superhero and soccer, and cooking, are equally endearing, but unfortunately they don’t add enough heft to set the book apart from other empowerment books for children. Though the illustrations shine, the text remains pedagogic and bland. Clichés abound: “When I believe in myself, there’s simply nothing I can’t do”; “Sometimes I am right, and sometimes I am wrong. / But even when I make mistakes, I learn from them to make me strong.” The inclusion of children with varying abilities, religions, genders, body types, and racial presentations creates an inviting tone that makes the book palatable. It’s hard to argue with the titular sentiment, but this is not the only book of its ilk on the shelf.

Banal affirmation buoyed by charming illustrations. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-266713-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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