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STOP, GO, YES, NO!

A STORY OF OPPOSITES

Kids will snort at the antics of the simultaneously exasperating and endearing Dog while feeling sympathetic to Cat.

A clever use of reverse vocabulary tells a story of the cohabitation and uneasy friendship of Dog and Cat.

Cat is comfortably “Asleep” on top of a ball of yarn when suddenly Dog loudly leaps through an open window, startling Cat “Awake.” As Dog jumps “Over” the chair Cat had been dozing on, Cat immediately retreats “Under” it. Contrasting single words, the sole text, are presented in, mostly, double-page illustrations that extend the story effortlessly through expressive black-outlined cartoon scenes. A happy, frolicking, lovable Dog wants to play but seems only to succeed in bothering housemate Cat, who becomes increasingly annoyed, clearly wishing to be left alone. As beleaguered Cat runs “Outside” and then back “Inside” to hide, an enthusiastic Dog pursues, first deeming Cat “Lost” and then “Found” after espying a large lump under the rug. (Readers old enough to recognize the lump as Cat will be in stitches at Dog’s puzzlement.) In the end, while Cat wishes to be hidden and “Apart,” Dog insists that they be “Together”; the final illustration finds smiling Dog with a leg wrapped around a reluctant Cat, whose eyes are rolled upward. Twohy’s amusing, animated drawings perfectly reflect the divergent personalities of his characters and deliver a well-developed tale in just 28 words.

Kids will snort at the antics of the simultaneously exasperating and endearing Dog while feeling sympathetic to Cat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-246933-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

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 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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