Ian isn’t well, and his book isn’t so great either.

IAN IS SICK

From the Ian and Sarah series

Some TLC and a play date help a sick little boy get better.

Little Ian has a fever, a sore throat, and a cough, so he stays home sick from school. His mother and father cuddle him and give him medicine, which helps him feel better. But when his parents have to go to work, a babysitter named Emma, whom Ian has never met, comes over. She plays with him and makes him “magic pancakes” to help him feel better, which seems to do the trick. A neighbor girl named Sarah comes over to play when Ian’s mother comes home. But when Ian, totally healthy the next day, wants to play with her again, he discovers that she is now at home sick with Emma babysitting her. All of the characters appear to be white, and the plot seems rather implausible, with its introduction of a stranger to care for a feverish child (she is at least a stranger to the sick child) and that same feverish child recovering so quickly. While Oud’s calm attitude is praiseworthy, readers may be more alarmed than reassured at imagining being left at home sick with a stranger, however friendly-looking and good at making pancakes. The cartoon-style illustrations are more pleasing than the forced text, but the color seems rather off, with blond hair appearing ghostly white.

Ian isn’t well, and his book isn’t so great either. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60537-325-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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We’ll say it: a toothsome experience.

BRUSH! BRUSH! BRUSH!

Flash those pearly whites!

Renowned poet Florian’s jaunty rhymes suggest that a hygiene ritual many children consider bothersome can be “fun! fun! fun!” Each spread features lively scenes showing kids demonstrating tooth- and mouth-cleansing techniques as well as two couplets in which the second exclamatory lines—containing a word repeated three times—rhyme with each other (“Toothpaste on the / brush! brush! brush!” “Take your time. / Don’t rush! rush! rush!”). Parents and caregivers seeking an enjoyable, stimulating way to motivate youngsters to perform this important daily task may wish to recite the rollicking verses to provide a pleasant, rhythmic, chanting “background” whenever their kids wield their toothbrushes. The colorful, energetic illustrations depict happy, wide-eyed, racially diverse small children—some with missing teeth—taking care of their oral-hygiene business with gusto. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

We’ll say it: a toothsome experience. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4998-1340-1

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

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Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end.

BYE-BYE BINKY

From the Big Kid Power series

This book seeks to use the power of persuasion to vanquish that most formidable of opponents: toddlers.

In this entry in the Big Kid Power series, a little black girl makes no bones about the fact that pacifiers (or “binkies”) are strictly baby territory. When she was little she needed one, but that was then. Whether she’s tired, sad, or hungry, there are other ways of being comforted: hugs and polite requests, for instance. After she gives her binky to a baby and bids it a very clear goodbye, the book ends with a triumphant, “I’M A BIG KID!” Using a striking color combination of orange, brown, and black, van Lieshout keeps her pages bold and bright, complementing the simple vocabulary. Such declarations as, “Do I still have a binky? // NO, BIG KIDS DON’T NEED A BINKY. / NOPE!” leave scant wiggle room for argument. In her author’s note at the end, van Lieshout says that after speaking to many parents about how they helped their kids bid their pacifiers adieu, “many of them had in common…a ritual of some sort.” The ritual here seems to be giving the pacifier away, though it may be missed by many readers. Companion title I Use the Potty uses a similar approach, with a proud, white boy as its guide.

Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3536-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

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