Any new reader lucky enough to spend a day with Grandma will want to read this to her.

READ REVIEW

TICK TOCK CLOCK

Grandma spends a busy day with her twin granddaughters in a day filled with action, rhythm and rhyme.

A tribute to the short “o,” this book for very new readers is filled with the “–ock” sound, as in: o’clock, tick tock, knock, smock, block, dock, flock, walk, block, lock and wok. With four to six words per page, in two-word sentences, two girls, dressed in matching red outfits are welcomed by their bespectacled grandmother, who is up for anything. From finger painting to building with blocks to picnicking on the dock, tick tock, the day with Grandma is full of fun. Neubecker’s sunny illustrations, in rich reds, yellows and greens, perfectly reflect the spare, very easy-to-read text. Each illustration is set on a white, unframed background and is set apart from the text, making it nicely legible. The repetition of words, particularly “Tick tock,” helps beginning readers build confidence. It’s strange that with all the references to the clock, there are no clocks in the illustrations, which is an opportunity lost. Children are interested in clocks and time and thus will note their absence; though the endpapers are festooned with them, set to varying times, this will not entirely compensate.

Any new reader lucky enough to spend a day with Grandma will want to read this to her.   (Early reader. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-136309-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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Yet another celebrity picture book that will steal sales from far, far better ones.

YOU ARE MY HAPPY

As the day draws to a close, a parent bear recalls those events shared with their child that gratified them, from observing hatching nestlings to the stars that come out at bedtime.

The scansion works and the emotions expressed are sweet, but that’s the limit of this book’s achievement. Mason is unable to create a coherent visual narrative that explicates and expands on the nonsensical text, which opens and closes with a parental address to “my fuzzy one” but in between is unclear as to who is expressing the syrupy sentiments. The sequence of sentence fragments “For special friends who made me giggle / and silly songs that made me wiggle. // For space to play, for shade to rest, / for secret spots we love the best” is illustrated in two double-page spreads with images of the young bear first playing with a young raccoon and second intently observing a caterpillar. Although that implies the young bear is speaking, the iteration of the refrain that ungrammatically brings the sequence to a close—“That’s what made me happy”—seems to bring the narration back to the parent bear. But really, giving up on sense seems to be the best one can expect from a book with a title that inartfully co-opts an adjective as a noun.

Yet another celebrity picture book that will steal sales from far, far better ones. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-288789-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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