ZEE

Anxious for his parents to wake up so he can climb in bed for a snuggle, Zee tries to serve them breakfast in bed. He realizes that this morning his parents are very sleepy and only a big cup of coffee will be able to rouse them. Determined to do it all by himself, the little zebra prepares coffee, pouring it carefully into two large mugs. The addition of sugar cubes, cream, jam, and a bit of cereal make this a delicious breakfast. Unfortunately, a toy left on the floor trips Zee, sending the heavy tray to the floor. The coffee left in the pot is barely enough to fill Zee’s toy teacups, but he delivers the remaining hot coffee to his waiting parents, helping them to drink from the tiny cups. Watercolor illustrations, rendered in few colors, on great swaths of white, depend on the graphic nature of zebras. Charming from A to Zee. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-38148-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2003

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The soft cadence of the rhyming verses and the joyous pictures of the elephants will make this a bedtime favorite

THIS IS OUR BABY, BORN TODAY

When a baby elephant is born, “wrinkled and gray,” not just the herd, but the whole world rejoices, from morning to night.

From the proud Mama to the grand Aunts, from the “fertile and firm” Earth to the ancient Banyan tree, everyone and everything around the new baby elephant joins in celebration and care for the Baby “who warms the hearts of the world today.” Glowing with warm golds and greens and shadowed with deep blues and greens, the gorgeous artwork lushly illuminates the day of an elephant’s birth as it is cared for by its family and surroundings. The expressions on the elephant faces are sheer joy to behold; the elephant smiles are realistic and yet radiate affection. Seemingly simple, this gentle rhyming story works on two levels: the playfulness of the young elephant and its friends ensure that young children will be able to see themselves in the story, and given the depiction of the natural scenes, at least some young readers will become fascinated with the lives of elephants as well. An author’s note at the end provides background from the Indian-American author’s own life and also draws attention to the present-day need to protect elephants from poaching and the loss of habitat.

The soft cadence of the rhyming verses and the joyous pictures of the elephants will make this a bedtime favorite . (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-16684-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Pleasant and sentimental ponderings for new parents and children.

WORLD SO WIDE

A couple imagines the wonder-filled first moments of their newborn.

“Somewhere in the world, / the world so far, / the world so wide,” sits an orange house surrounded by verdant fields and wispy wildflowers. And in that house, “someone is the / youngest person alive.” What will they see first? Hear? Smell? Through direct address, McGhee explores these firsts. Perhaps it’ll be a “blanket and bunny, / toes and tummy” that they’ll touch first, or perhaps it’ll be “the arms of / someone warm.” One day when the child is grown, they might have a little one of their own who at one moment too will have been “the youngest person alive.” And as a parent, they’ll show their child “a life / that’s bright and true” and a “world [that] will feel / full of love.” With layers of textures—swaths of squiggles and lines—and a colorful palette, Alizadeh’s smudgily outlined illustrations bring a soft but bright energy to the author’s tender text. Scenes alternate between spreads of the family out in the expansive world with interior shots of cozy parent-child moments at home. Occasional close-ups set against minimal backgrounds highlight the love in a parent’s eyes as they connect with their child. The father is white and mother ambiguously tanner.

Pleasant and sentimental ponderings for new parents and children. (Picture book. 2-5, adult)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-0633-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

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