WHAT WILL DANNY DO TODAY?

Readers will love the illustrations, but they might also feel cheated by the premise—disappointing.

So many choices in a seemingly simple day!

“What will Danny wear today?” Colorful socks pour out of his dresser, and the open wardrobe offers a rainbow of colors and patterns and styles. And so goes the day. Every double-page spread of options is dense with lively figures and raucous color. Will the brown-haired white boy choose a “crunchy, chewy, or wobbly” breakfast? What will he drink? He can pedal, skip, walk, ride, or zip to school, and what will he learn there? Painting…playing the piano...rocket building? Who will teach Danny today: the turbaned Sikh, the green ET with five eyes, Shakespeare? During physical education, will he “run, jump, or hit balls?” And at recess, “slide, swing, or seesaw?” What will he do for his after-school art activity? What will he do with his dad after that? At the end of the long day, which book will he choose? And here the book at last provides an answer: the very one readers are holding! Goodhart presents copious choices but (except for the end) never reveals what Danny has chosen. The cover’s claim that readers get to “decide” what Danny does is plain false. But Usher’s shaggy, busy illustrations, bristling with visual foolishness and populated by a multiracial cast, are a delight.

Readers will love the illustrations, but they might also feel cheated by the premise—disappointing. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61067-512-3

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Awards & Accolades

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DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

Awards & Accolades

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  • New York Times Bestseller


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The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

CINDERELLA

From the Once Upon a World series

A nice but not requisite purchase.

A retelling of the classic fairy tale in board-book format and with a Mexican setting.

Though simplified for a younger audience, the text still relates the well-known tale: mean-spirited stepmother, spoiled stepsisters, overworked Cinderella, fairy godmother, glass slipper, charming prince, and, of course, happily-ever-after. What gives this book its flavor is the artwork. Within its Mexican setting, the characters are olive-skinned and dark-haired. Cultural references abound, as when a messenger comes carrying a banner announcing a “FIESTA” in beautiful papel picado. Cinderella is the picture of beauty, with her hair up in ribbons and flowers and her typically Mexican many-layered white dress. The companion volume, Snow White, set in Japan and illustrated by Misa Saburi, follows the same format. The simplified text tells the story of the beautiful princess sent to the forest by her wicked stepmother to be “done away with,” the dwarves that take her in, and, eventually, the happily-ever-after ending. Here too, what gives the book its flavor is the artwork. The characters wear traditional clothing, and the dwarves’ house has the requisite shoji screens, tatami mats and cherry blossoms in the garden. The puzzling question is, why the board-book presentation? Though the text is simplified, it’s still beyond the board-book audience, and the illustrations deserve full-size books.

A nice but not requisite purchase. (Board book/fairy tale. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7915-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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