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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As ephemeral as a valentine.


Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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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 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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