He truly might be the bonniest baby in Dundee, or in any town.

Take one proud big sister, mix in the love of all the grannies in town and a baby beauty contest, and you have the fixings for a jolly read-aloud.

Related in irresistible rhyme, this Scottish import tells the tale of one blond, peach-skinned baby whose big sister enters him in a contest. And what a sweetie he is! “ ‘No time to lose!’ I shout to Mum. / ‘There’s a trophy to be won! / Let’s get our baby home and in the bath!’ ” Unfortunately, though his family prepares him for the big event, the world has other plans. The bus breaks down, it begins to “bucket down with rain,” the streetlights refuse to let them cross the street, and the bus splashes water on the tot, who is now “the dirtiest baby in Dundee!” The baby makes it worse by blowing a raspberry at the judge! But even though three other babies win ribbons before the treasured child, he does get his fourth-place ribbon, and all is well. Energetic watercolor-and-collage illustrations appropriately depict a multiethnic Dundee and reflect the exuberant verse, which is straight from the mouth of the proud big sister. Occasional Scottish words (“cheeky,” “bairn,” “claggie,” “wee,” and more) add to the fun. While American readers might not be familiar with these words, each is easy to decode and understand in context or from looking at the pictures. The rhyme begs to be read aloud—with or without a bonny Scottish accent.

He truly might be the bonniest baby in Dundee, or in any town. (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-78250-314-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Floris

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016


From the Once Upon a World series

A nice but not requisite purchase.

A retelling of the classic fairy tale in board-book format and with a Mexican setting.

Though simplified for a younger audience, the text still relates the well-known tale: mean-spirited stepmother, spoiled stepsisters, overworked Cinderella, fairy godmother, glass slipper, charming prince, and, of course, happily-ever-after. What gives this book its flavor is the artwork. Within its Mexican setting, the characters are olive-skinned and dark-haired. Cultural references abound, as when a messenger comes carrying a banner announcing a “FIESTA” in beautiful papel picado. Cinderella is the picture of beauty, with her hair up in ribbons and flowers and her typically Mexican many-layered white dress. The companion volume, Snow White, set in Japan and illustrated by Misa Saburi, follows the same format. The simplified text tells the story of the beautiful princess sent to the forest by her wicked stepmother to be “done away with,” the dwarves that take her in, and, eventually, the happily-ever-after ending. Here too, what gives the book its flavor is the artwork. The characters wear traditional clothing, and the dwarves’ house has the requisite shoji screens, tatami mats and cherry blossoms in the garden. The puzzling question is, why the board-book presentation? Though the text is simplified, it’s still beyond the board-book audience, and the illustrations deserve full-size books.

A nice but not requisite purchase. (Board book/fairy tale. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7915-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017


From the Who's in Your Book? series

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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