Tanco mostly nails it: Life is about the little things, which add up to time spent together, and what’s more important than...

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MOM AND ME, ME AND MOM

Tanco follows his odes to father-child and brother-brother relationships (You and Me, Me and You: Brothers, 2018, etc.) with this one dedicated to mothers and children.

As in his previous titles, the author keeps readers on their toes with the page turn. The tiny tyke in these pages tests both her mother’s flexibility (standing on her leg as the mom does an inverted yoga pose) and, on the next page, her reflexes (mom dodges a kicked ball). Every parent will relate to at least a few of the scenarios presented here: Children certainly show their parents a new sense of style, notice things they do not (the museum’s water cooler rather than the art), and follow their lead (the two read back to back in the grass), and they do have a way of improving the mood after a long day of work. But one line spoken by the child narrator rings concerning: “I…keep your secrets safe.” Pops of orangey-red are the only spots of color, the rest black or gray against mostly white pages. Whereas the child in You and Me, Me and You, concerning fathers, was largely ungendered, the child here wears a dress and a girl’s bathing suit. Mother and daughter resemble each other, with red-outlined curly/scribbly hair and pointy noses. Both are paper-white.

Tanco mostly nails it: Life is about the little things, which add up to time spent together, and what’s more important than that? (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7190-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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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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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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