Keep this for any day, not just a rainy one.

DRUTHERS

How much fun can be packed into a rainy day? Lots, if you’re like this energetic daughter-daddy duo.

Penelope is extremely bored on a day when it just won’t stop raining. When her daddy asks her her “druthers” and defines the expression—a lucky happenstance for her and young readers who’ll likely delight in trotting out this new word henceforth—Penelope offers up various possibilities: going to the zoo, being a cowgirl, helming a pirate ship sailing “to the island of dinosaurs” and flying to the moon. What an agenda—and what an imaginative, playful pair this child and her father are. Making the most of her vast array of toys and increasingly elaborate ideas and his seemingly never-ending supply of patience and creativity, don’t you know that dad leaps on every suggestion, and the two are off having a grand time—sound effects, props and all. Phelan’s gentle ink-and-watercolor illustrations are filled with rollicking activity, and the soft colors and outlines evoke the close, loving relationship. The book’s concept doesn’t break new ground, but this is a warm and fuzzy look at how much fun kids can have with game, fully supportive parents in their corners, and young listeners may pick up some new ideas for their own rainy days. Noticing all the potential for fun, they’ll probably agree with Penelope that if they really had their druthers… “it would rain tomorrow, too.”

Keep this for any day, not just a rainy one. (Picture book. 2 -5)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5955-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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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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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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