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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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Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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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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