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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more