A solid message to caregivers about the value of unstructured time with their children; child readers may hope for similar...

READ REVIEW

IN A MINUTE, MAMA BEAR

A frazzled Mama Bear with a long to-do list learns to stop and smell the flowers.

No matter how long Mama’s list is, Bella Bear does not share her agenda. A typical toddler, Bella wants to play (preferably with Mama) and to do things herself: She wants what she wants. There’s no mischief to Bella, but even so, every rushed caregiver will empathize with Mama Bear’s mounting frustration, signaled in Bright’s illustrations by the prominent red wristwatch she points to, her upraised eyebrows, and her up-flung arms. But Bella’s expression when Mama’s temper finally erupts over the traffic lights gives Mama pause. “Mama has a change of heart. / She wants to go a different way. / ‘New plans for us, my Bella Bear… // We’re going to the park today!’ ” And just like that, list forgotten, the two spend the day enjoying each other’s company. And when it’s time to leave, their roles are humorously reversed. Bright’s anthropomorphized bears are pudgy and scribbly-furred, and they have large, round front paws. Bella is a lighter shade of brown than Mama and wears clothing; outside the house, Mama sports only a scarf. A family portrait shows only the duo.

A solid message to caregivers about the value of unstructured time with their children; child readers may hope for similar results with their own grown-ups. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-374-30578-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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