Comforting, encouraging sentiments that adult readers and their little ones will appreciate.

Written in English and Cree, this book conveys an unseen adult’s wishes for a child.

The hopes expressed have a reassuring and universal nature: “I hope you know beautiful happiness.” “I hope that when sad tears leave your eyes someone is there to catch them.” Many books of this nature tend to hope for wonderful things to happen to the child; refreshingly, this one expresses the hope that the child will also make wonderful things happen: “I hope you are helpful.” “I hope you are a caretaker of Mother Earth.” “I hope you are respectful.” Grimard translates these feelings into luminous artwork that often expands upon the sentiment in question. On a page with the words, “I hope you are courageous,” several children are shown holding placards that read “Every Child Matters,” “We Are One,” and “Equal.” Every double-page spread expresses a hope, first in English, then followed by its Cree equivalent: “I hope that you are kind / nipakosêyimon ka-kisêwâtisiyan.” Fittingly, given that this is a book addressed to children, the book ends, “I have lots of hopes, for you and for me, / but I wonder….What are your hopes?” The people portrayed are diverse in terms of ethnicity, skin color, and age. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Comforting, encouraging sentiments that adult readers and their little ones will appreciate. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4598-3325-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022


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


From the Big Bright Feelings series

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance.

A boy with wings learns to be himself and inspires others like him to soar, too.

Norman, a “perfectly normal” boy, never dreamed he might grow wings. Afraid of what his parents might say, he hides his new wings under a big, stuffy coat. Although the coat hides his wings from the world, Norman no longer finds joy in bathtime, playing at the park, swimming, or birthday parties. With the gentle encouragement of his parents, who see his sadness, Norman finds the courage to come out of hiding and soar. Percival (The Magic Looking Glass, 2017, etc.) depicts Norman with light skin and dark hair. Black-and-white illustrations show his father with dark skin and hair and his mother as white. The contrast of black-and-white illustrations with splashes of bright color complements the story’s theme. While Norman tries to be “normal,” the world and people around him look black and gray, but his coat stands out in yellow. Birds pop from the page in pink, green, and blue, emphasizing the joy and beauty of flying free. The final spread, full of bright color and multiracial children in flight, sets the mood for Norman’s realization on the last page that there is “no such thing as perfectly normal,” but he can be “perfectly Norman.”

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-785-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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