Dunrea has proven himself a master of child behavior (and waterfowl)—let’s hope the gaggle keeps growing. (Picture book. 2-5)

GIDEON

From the Gossie & Friends series

A new gosling joins Dunrea’s Gossie & Friends.

Gideon is a ruddy little goose who likes to play. All day. With boundless energy, he dashes, hops, scoots and scurries across the farmyard in search of adventure. In the piggery he plays chase-the-piglet. In the sheep house he bounces on the ewe. In a rare moment of stillness, he plays quietly with the turtle, gently looking, never moving. But Gideon can’t play all day. Mama Goose keeps interrupting his fun by calling for naptime. Gideon’s response is familiar to caregivers far and wide: “No nap! I’m playing!” A defiant naptime battle to be sure, but tiny Gideon also embodies a toddler’s insatiable curiosity. Why should he sleep when there’s so much to do and see? Familiar clean, white backdrops frame each scene, and Gideon’s wide-mouthed exuberance echoes his feathered friends from previous works. Gideon doesn’t show many signs of tiring, but the lumpy, striped octopus that he drags everywhere looks more bedraggled with each romp. Young readers will relate to Gideon’s assertion of control; adult readers will smile knowingly when he finally starts to snooze.

Dunrea has proven himself a master of child behavior (and waterfowl)—let’s hope the gaggle keeps growing. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-618-43661-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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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 good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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