GOOD AS GOLDIE

Palatini’s (Ding Dong Ding Dong, 1999) hilarious tale offers readers a kid’s-eye view of sibling relationships. Tots with younger siblings will find a soul mate in the irrepressible Goldie, smug, sassy, and ever so superior. With the insouciant confidence of youth, Goldie catalogs the vast differences between herself and her baby brother, Nicholas, highlighting her own many accomplishments. “I’m BIG” becomes her mantra and rallying cry. Poor baby Nicholas cannot get dressed, read a book, color, or even swing by himself. Of course, Goldie declares, in inimitable toddler fashion, that she can do all these things exceedingly well. Palatini’s somewhat haphazard sketches are the perfect medium to convey the chaotic ambiance of a preschooler and baby combo. Full-color vignettes provide an ironic counterpart to the text, so while Goldie is espousing her superiority, the reader sees the reality of the situation. So, for example, when Goldie complains about Nicholas’s messy eating habits, the very funny picture reveals Goldie’s own spilled milk, stained tablecloth, and smeared face. However, the two find common ground in that classic childhood pastime—sucking their thumbs—and it’s clear that they are a pair. Palatini’s engagingly witty tale reflects a keen understanding of sibling rivalry. She addresses a sensitive subject for young children, deftly using humor to lighten the mood with her signature flair for the comical and giving readers a protagonist with whom they can identify. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7868-0502-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2000

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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