A short and sweet ode to parenthood and family.


Two siblings show appreciation for their parents as they grow into adulthood.

“We would do anything for you….Because you do anything for the two of us,” the children explain. Peppering their Asian-presenting father and Black-presenting mother with smooches, they “would weave a boundless blanket of kisses with threads of joy.” As the parents worry over finances, the children exclaim they “would magically solve all of [their] problems.” Likewise, their parents’ “smiles light up the way for [them]” as they leave the nest, and they are there to catch their children should they fall. With each spread, the family grows older. And with each up and down that life and age bring, parents and children comfort and care for one another. The cycle of love joyfully continues with the next (multiracial) generation. Millán’s colorful and movement-filled illustrations add whimsy to the sentiment. Merlán’s text is short and occasionally metaphorical, and the illustrations provide grounded examples. Cheeky humor also lies in the artwork: A spread depicting the children drawing all over the walls accompanies their assertion that they “would masterfully draw the path that leads to the stars”; in another, the parents take cover as the children gleefully splatter the vegetables they promise to “eat…without grumbling.” Written as an address from child to parent, this celebratory and reassuring offering may find a home on the shelf as a family read. This Spanish import publishes simultaneously with the U.S. edition of the original version.

A short and sweet ode to parenthood and family. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-84-18302-09-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cuento de Luz

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.


All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.


Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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