The love is palpable in these pages, and adults and children will surely talk about their own ways of loving after sharing...

READ REVIEW

I HEART YOU

Adult animals describe how they show their love for their little ones.

From hugging and kissing to singing and snuggling, these are activities that will be familiar to most children, albeit ones that most animals do not engage in. Adorable animals in pastel-colored pencil-and-gouache pictures act out their love for one another. Though gently anthropomorphized in behavior, these animals are otherwise depicted realistically, unclothed and in nature. “I hide you. / I tease you. // I find you. / I squeeze you,” is depicted with adult-child foxes playing hide-and-seek. Though not all the “verbs” are action words per se, children will have no trouble understanding when the picture shows an adult bear running after a cub, then that same duo hugging in the grass while the text reads “I chase you. / I slow you.” A turn of the page shows the cub on the grown bear’s back reaching for apples in a tree: “I lift you. / I grow you.” Not all are as easy as this, though, as with the two swallows that “sway” and “swing” while flying. The final spreads go from a fawn’s shy meeting with a young child in a blue dress to that child and an adult woman holding and loving each other. Both have brown hair and are white.

The love is palpable in these pages, and adults and children will surely talk about their own ways of loving after sharing this. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4424-8895-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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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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This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

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LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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