Accessible and tender, this story gives young children a voice and shows how to hold the memory of a loved one close

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MISSING MOMMY

A BOOK ABOUT BEREAVEMENT

Told from a young child’s point of view, Cobb’s moving story respectfully explores the complex emotions a little one may experience while grieving the loss of a parent.

On a rainy day, they said goodbye to Mommy. Unsure where she went, a small child searches for her under the bed, behind the couch, among the blades of grass. Some things are found—a purse, which brings a grief, raw and deep; a sweater-turned-lovey, which holds memory and reassurance. Emotions wash over the child: fear, anger, guilt, loneliness. Each is sensitively described and depicted, as the small child sits alone under a barren tree, stomps toy trains and tries—with tears—to fix past mistakes. What’s more, the strength of family, as they grapple with their shared grief, is tenderly illustrated. The artwork, done in a primary palette, skillfully emulates the innocence of a child’s drawings, and the compositions, with symbolic swaths of empty space, adeptly capture the child’s sense of loneliness. Appealing, effective and authentic, they perfectly illuminate the text, as the family finds solace, warmth and healing through the sharing of stories and memories.

Accessible and tender, this story gives young children a voice and shows how to hold the memory of a loved one close . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9507-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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