Readers may wish they had wings, too. What fun! (Picture book. 3-6)

READ REVIEW

TESSA TAKES WING

When the lights are out and everyone is asleep, baby Tessa takes flight—literally!

In this whimsical tale, a wee baby with wispy dark hair and just two little teeth lies in her crib asking to be picked up. But no one does. Her older sister lies asleep near her, the lights are out, and the moon is shining. “Goody, she thinks and jumps up herself”: Wings have sprouted on her back, and Tessa takes flight, tumbling through the air head over heels, up, up, and away from her crib. Clearly, it’s not her first time, and she loves it. She plays with toys, spins a red-and-white umbrella that becomes another instrument of flight, and shares books with Bingo the dog. As dawn nears and Bingo’s thump-thumping tail knocks the blocks over, Tessa knows it’s time to tidy up and get back to her crib. As the family’s day starts, the text plays with the word “up”: “Daddy lifts her up,” then “everyone is up,” she’s “up in her high chair,” “up on daddy’s shoulders,” and “up high in Mama’s arms.” If only they knew how high up Tessa can really go! The book ends as Tessa takes flight again when everyone is napping. The delightful watercolor-and–colored-pencil illustrations are as whimsical as the story and equally filled with movement. Tessa and her sister both have pale skin and dark hair; Mama has light-brown skin and black hair, while Daddy presents white, suggesting a mixed-race family.

Readers may wish they had wings, too. What fun! (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-439-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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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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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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