A warm hug of a picture book wishing all children happy, fulfilled, and meaningful lives.



A picture book filled with positive messages for young children.

From the first “I wish you” page of this picture book to the last, the author of Bedtime for Picco Puppy and other books in the Picco Puppy picture book series (2019) offers children words of encouragement and inspiration, complemented by a gifted artist’s charming illustrations. “I wish you dreams and aspirations, to spread your wings and reach for the stars,” the book begins. On the page, against a deep blue starry sky, a little brown-haired girl steadies a ladder for a blond boy in a space helmet who is reaching for the moon. Children of different races frolic in a snowy wood to illustrate “I wish you joy and laughter, to laugh long and loud until you gasp for breath.” A little Black girl in a wheelchair and a light-skinned boy share an ice cream cone on a leafy autumn day to illustrate “I wish you kindness and generosity, for no act of kindness is ever wasted, no matter how small.” Each “wish” is stated with graceful simplicity; each colorful illustration matches that tone and delights the eye. Two end-of-book features invite children to go back through the pages: “Can You Spot the Famous People?” highlights pictures of some of the book’s characters as if they are child versions of such well-known figures as Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, accompanying each name with a short bio. “Can You Spot the Dog?” identifies each dog in the book with its breed.

A warm hug of a picture book wishing all children happy, fulfilled, and meaningful lives.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-925973-12-9

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Picco Puppy

Review Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.


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 comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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