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

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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A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts.

ONE FAMILY

A playful counting book also acts as a celebration of family and human diversity.

Shannon’s text is delivered in spare, rhythmic, lilting verse that begins with one and counts up to 10 as it presents different groupings of things and people in individual families, always emphasizing the unitary nature of each combination. “One is six. One line of laundry. One butterfly’s legs. One family.” Gomez’s richly colored pictures clarify and expand on all that the text lists: For “six,” a picture showing six members of a multigenerational family of color includes a line of laundry with six items hanging from it outside of their windows, as well as the painting of a six-legged butterfly that a child in the family is creating. While text never directs the art to depict diverse individuals and family constellations, Gomez does just this in her illustrations. Interracial families are included, as are depictions of men with their arms around each other, and a Sikh man wearing a turban. This inclusive spirit supports the text’s culminating assertion that “One is one and everyone. One earth. One world. One family.”

A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30003-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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