Move this picture book onto the shelf.

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MIA MOVES OUT

Mia makes a move when sharing space overwhelms her.

The opening text indicates that Mia is an adoptee: “When Mia moved in, Mom and Dad had a room ready for her.” She makes the room her own, but then she must adjust to sharing it when a baby comes home. While Mom shares redheaded, pale-skinned Mia’s coloring, baby Brandon looks more like Dad, with olive skin and black, straight hair. The text merely says he “arrived,” which leaves open the possibility that he was adopted, too. At first, room-sharing is fun, but their room becomes increasingly messy. A climactic illustration depicts clutter and chaos overtaking a central spread, and Mia’s frustrated declaration “I’m moving out!” appears in oversized, red type. Mia’s move occurs within the house—first to the bathroom, then the basement, then the pantry, and so on. Each new space is unsuitable for some humorous reason. A nook fashioned of a blanket overhanging a bookcase seems ideal until Mia decides “it needed something.” Brandon is that something, and together they create a big, open play-space outside. Never do they solve the indoor clutter problem, to which they’ll presumably return, but this narrative gap recedes behind the pleasure of seeing adoptee characters confidently negotiating a sense of home and belonging.

Move this picture book onto the shelf. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-55332-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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