This delightful picture book shines a spotlight on a rural, underrepresented Indian Muslim community.

A SARI FOR AMMI

In the Indian village of Kaithoon, a mother weaves gorgeous saris at her loom.

The woman’s daughter notices that even though Ammi is a talented sari maker, she never wears the saris she creates, opting instead for worn-out pairs of salwar kameez. The daughter enlists her sister, Sadaf, to find a way to buy a new sari for Ammi. The girls break open their gullak to see how much money they have inside. When they find what they’ve saved in their money jar isn’t enough, they look for items they can sell to the scrap dealer in their village. Even after selling bottles, tin cans, and newspaper they find around the house, the sisters are still short of the funds they need. They decide to go to visit neighbor Amina Khala, who is also a sari weaver—although not as talented as Ammi—and who pays the girls to dye threads that she will use in her designs. Finally, they have enough to go to market and to buy Ammi one of her own exquisite saris. According to the author’s note, the protagonists are part of a Muslim community of weavers that migrated from the Indian state of Karnataka to settle in Rajasthan in the 17th and 18th centuries. The sweet and gentle story organically integrates details about the daily lives of these skilled and rarely represented craftspeople. The cartoonlike illustrations are full of color, texture, and detail.

This delightful picture book shines a spotlight on a rural, underrepresented Indian Muslim community. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5420-3507-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Crossing Kids

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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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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A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts.

ONE FAMILY

A playful counting book also acts as a celebration of family and human diversity.

Shannon’s text is delivered in spare, rhythmic, lilting verse that begins with one and counts up to 10 as it presents different groupings of things and people in individual families, always emphasizing the unitary nature of each combination. “One is six. One line of laundry. One butterfly’s legs. One family.” Gomez’s richly colored pictures clarify and expand on all that the text lists: For “six,” a picture showing six members of a multigenerational family of color includes a line of laundry with six items hanging from it outside of their windows, as well as the painting of a six-legged butterfly that a child in the family is creating. While text never directs the art to depict diverse individuals and family constellations, Gomez does just this in her illustrations. Interracial families are included, as are depictions of men with their arms around each other, and a Sikh man wearing a turban. This inclusive spirit supports the text’s culminating assertion that “One is one and everyone. One earth. One world. One family.”

A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30003-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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