An excellent resource for parents attempting to wrangle their little superheroes’ powers for good.

GOOD MORNING, SUPERMAN!

From the DC Super Heroes series

Superman greets a new day.

The sun has risen on the city of Metropolis, and Superman is ready for a new day. An unnamed black boy prepares for his day as well, and the illustrations juxtapose the Man of Steel and his young fan as they go about their morning routines. Faster than a speeding locomotive, the heroes get dressed, gather their strength, and greet the day with heads held high. The illustrations use the angular Superman characters modeled by Bruce Timm in Superman: The Animated Series for the panels featuring the Man of Tomorrow and employ a rounded approach for scenes involving his young counterpart. Lex Luthor, Supergirl, and Krypto make appearances. While young readers might find it puzzling that the young protagonist seems to be afraid of brushing his teeth, they will appreciate the parallelism as he spits into the sink and Superman uses his superbreath to fight crime. This quick read includes a Morning Checklist for little readers who may forget a thing or two in their morning routines. Little ones that adore the Last Son of Krypton will go gaga for this quickly paced, brightly colored, action-packed read.

An excellent resource for parents attempting to wrangle their little superheroes’ powers for good. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62370-850-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end.

BYE-BYE BINKY

From the Big Kid Power series

This book seeks to use the power of persuasion to vanquish that most formidable of opponents: toddlers.

In this entry in the Big Kid Power series, a little black girl makes no bones about the fact that pacifiers (or “binkies”) are strictly baby territory. When she was little she needed one, but that was then. Whether she’s tired, sad, or hungry, there are other ways of being comforted: hugs and polite requests, for instance. After she gives her binky to a baby and bids it a very clear goodbye, the book ends with a triumphant, “I’M A BIG KID!” Using a striking color combination of orange, brown, and black, van Lieshout keeps her pages bold and bright, complementing the simple vocabulary. Such declarations as, “Do I still have a binky? // NO, BIG KIDS DON’T NEED A BINKY. / NOPE!” leave scant wiggle room for argument. In her author’s note at the end, van Lieshout says that after speaking to many parents about how they helped their kids bid their pacifiers adieu, “many of them had in common…a ritual of some sort.” The ritual here seems to be giving the pacifier away, though it may be missed by many readers. Companion title I Use the Potty uses a similar approach, with a proud, white boy as its guide.

Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3536-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

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Leave this on the shelf and take the kids outside to really move.

MOVE!

An interactive board book promises a variety of experiences.

A book that gets kids up and moving sounds like a great idea. The half-circle cutout of the spine and large handle formed by another die cut on the right side are intriguing. Unfortunately, the rhyming instructions for using the book as an exercise prop are confusing. Even adults will find themselves puzzled when told to “paddle the floor,” or to “hang on the handles. Step over the book. / You're a turtle in its shell! Go peek out and look.” The busy pictures shift perspective according to each scenario presented but give few visual clues. For example, the only hint of a dinosaur on the page where readers are told to “put this book to your mouth and let out a roar” like a dinosaur are the teeth that line the edges of what is meant to be a gaping maw. It’s not always obvious whether the book is meant to be facing readers or turned away from them, adding another layer of confusion. Furthermore, many of the instructions run counter to how young children are typically taught to treat books, as when they are told to step on it and then waddle or to lift it with their feet. The relatively thin board pages and weak handles will soon be torn by normal handling; following the directions in the text will only hasten the destruction.

Leave this on the shelf and take the kids outside to really move. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-8733-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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