MILLIE-MAE THROUGH THE SEASONS

Divided into four separate stories, this colorfully illustrated book follows Millie-Mae as she moves through summer, autumn, winter, and spring.

Each section begins with changes in the scenery around her red-roofed house and then moves on to what she wears, where she goes, and what she sees along the way. In summer, she wears a yellow dress and straw hat on her way to the beach to build a sand castle. Along the way, “Millie-Mae passes a row of tall yellow sunflowers” being visited by “blue butterflies and busy yellow bees.” In autumn, “leaves crunch under Millie-Mae’s shoes” when she hosts a tea party for her toys in the park. Winter brings snow, and “Millie-Mae builds three snowmen! She uses twigs for their arms and orange carrots for their noses.” When spring arrives, the trees are covered in pink flowers, and “Millie-Mae fills up her green watering can so she can water her plants.” At the end of each story, it’s time for bed. She and her teddy bear climb under the covers with a “Good night, Millie-Mae. Sweet dreams.” Bright, uncomplicated illustrations complement the repeated action and color words, thus helping children to learn and read along. Softly patterned backgrounds and details add visual interest. Companion title Millie-Mae Loves To Play finds the child dressing up, gardening, flying a kite, and making lemonade in equally simple vignettes. Australian spellings in this import have not been Americanized.

A simple seasonal round. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68464-213-7

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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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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A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts.

ONE FAMILY

A playful counting book also acts as a celebration of family and human diversity.

Shannon’s text is delivered in spare, rhythmic, lilting verse that begins with one and counts up to 10 as it presents different groupings of things and people in individual families, always emphasizing the unitary nature of each combination. “One is six. One line of laundry. One butterfly’s legs. One family.” Gomez’s richly colored pictures clarify and expand on all that the text lists: For “six,” a picture showing six members of a multigenerational family of color includes a line of laundry with six items hanging from it outside of their windows, as well as the painting of a six-legged butterfly that a child in the family is creating. While text never directs the art to depict diverse individuals and family constellations, Gomez does just this in her illustrations. Interracial families are included, as are depictions of men with their arms around each other, and a Sikh man wearing a turban. This inclusive spirit supports the text’s culminating assertion that “One is one and everyone. One earth. One world. One family.”

A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30003-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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