Stories glorifying mothers abound; this well-intentioned but rather bland one does not distinguish itself.

READ REVIEW

MOM SCHOOL

An imaginative, ponytailed girl compares what she learns at school to what she believes her mother learned at Mom School.

“When I go to school, I learn how to cut and glue paper, count to 100, and sing silly songs. My mom says she went to school, too.” So begins this title, in which the young narrator shares what she thinks happens at a school for mothers. The page turn reveals a group of ethnically diverse, backpack-toting women, many with coffee mugs, heading into a multistory brick school. There, the students learn how to juggle various tasks, such as shopping for groceries while not losing sight of the kids, talking on the phone while fixing a daughter’s hair, and making dinner while listening to a child’s new song. Other lessons include how to properly tuck a child into bed, read stories, bait a fishhook, and pump a bicycle tire; all are betrayed with gentle comic effect in Burris’ digitally painted illustrations. Readers will be pleased to recognize such activities as building a fort out of couch cushions and decorating cupcakes, but these kidcentric lessons follow a pretty drawn-out exploration of a single joke. The conclusion replicates that found in many other books: “she says her favorite job, her best job, her most important job is…being my mom.”

Stories glorifying mothers abound; this well-intentioned but rather bland one does not distinguish itself. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-38892-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fascinating, splendidly executed peek into both the mundane and the dramatic aspects of lighthouse life.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2018

  • New York Times Bestseller

HELLO LIGHTHOUSE

This tribute to lighthouses of an earlier era focuses on one lighthouse and its dedicated keeper.

Perched “on the highest rock of a tiny island / at the edge of the world,” the lighthouse shines for seafaring ships. A new keeper arrives, continuing the endless routine of polishing the lens, refilling the oil, trimming the wick, winding the clockwork, painting the round rooms, fishing, making tea, sending letters to his wife (in bottles), and writing daily in his logbook. One day, a ship delivering supplies brings the keeper’s wife! The keeper rings a warning bell in fog, rescues wrecked sailors, and logs his baby’s birth. When he’s ill, his stalwart wife tends the light and maintains the logbook. Eventually, a mechanical light replaces the keeper. While the spare, unemotional text resembles a keeper’s log, the book’s vertical orientation echoes a lighthouse tower. Rendered in Chinese ink and watercolor, precise, detailed illustrations present the lighthouse surrounded by patterned blue, green, or gray waves depending on the weather or season, reinforcing its solitary enterprise. A cutaway interior view exposes a compact, contained world. Close-ups of the keeper and his wife (both white) in porthole-shaped frames and from unusual aerial views emphasize their isolated, intimate, circular environment. An “About Lighthouses” section adds insightful detail.

A fascinating, splendidly executed peek into both the mundane and the dramatic aspects of lighthouse life. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-36238-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more