The rainbow-colored subjects of picture-book newcomer Kuszyk’s paintings illustrate the robot world for young readers. R Robot is your average robot—he brings an extra head to work, “just in case,” and can shower, eat and walk the dog all at the same time. At the factory, R Robot investigates the clog in Big Cooker robot that has led to the incredibly long lunch line. It turns out that the clog is caused by the robot he’s been looking for all day, solving two problems in one fell swoop. Incongruously, considering the simplistic story line, Kuszyk’s acrylic-and–spray-paint robots, which enjoy a separate incarnation in galleries and murals nationally, are not toned down for the young audience. While the colors and distinctive features of each robot are initially captivating, some children may have trouble distinguishing and separating the various parts of the robots and the many metallic chips that make up their world. Alas, the interesting illustrations do not mesh with the ho-hum plot. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-24757-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2009


Give this child’s-eye view of a day at the beach with an attentive father high marks for coziness: “When your ball blows across the sand and into the ocean and starts to drift away, your daddy could say, Didn’t I tell you not to play too close to the waves? But he doesn’t. He wades out into the cold water. And he brings your ball back to the beach and plays roll and catch with you.” Alley depicts a moppet and her relaxed-looking dad (to all appearances a single parent) in informally drawn beach and domestic settings: playing together, snuggling up on the sofa and finally hugging each other goodnight. The third-person voice is a bit distancing, but it makes the togetherness less treacly, and Dad’s mix of love and competence is less insulting, to parents and children both, than Douglas Wood’s What Dads Can’t Do (2000), illus by Doug Cushman. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 23, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-00361-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2005


A sweet iteration of the “Big Bad Wolf Mellows Out” theme. Here, an old wolf does some soul searching and then learns to like vegetable stew after a half-frozen lamb appears on his doorstep, falls asleep in his arms, then wakes to give him a kiss. “I can’t eat a lamb who needs me! I might get heartburn!” he concludes. Clad in striped leggings and a sleeveless pullover decorated with bands of evergreens, the wolf comes across as anything but dangerous, and the lamb looks like a human child in a fleecy overcoat. No dreams are likely to be disturbed by this book, but hardened members of the Oshkosh set might prefer the more credible predators and sense of threat in John Rocco’s Wolf! Wolf! (March 2007) or Delphine Perrot’s Big Bad Wolf and Me (2006). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-58925-067-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2007

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