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

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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A cozy year-round delight.

I LOVE YOU ALL YEAR THROUGH

Animal caregivers express their love for their little ones throughout the seasons in this addition to the “I love you” shelf.

Markers of the seasons loom large in this salute to parent-child bonds—spring blossoms and rains, autumn leaves, the summer sun and haze. “I love you in the winter / when the frost is on the trees. // When ice lights up the night / and snowflakes drift upon the breeze.” Stansbie’s gentle rhymes continue in this pattern through spring, summer, and autumn before summing the year up: “In wind and rain and sun, / from dawn to dusk and all year through… // You are my darling precious one. / Forever I’ll love you!” A different duo is shown on each spread, and the animals are familiar favorites: bear, fox, deer, rabbit, bird, otter, horse, lion, wolf, red squirrel, whale, and polar bear. Simple though gorgeously dappled backgrounds capture the basics of the animals’ various habitats. Mason’s use of light is masterful; many of the illustrations capture the animals at golden hour, and this contributes to the cozy mood evoked by the text. Though the animals’ expressions tend toward anthropomorphism, most of their actions are natural.

A cozy year-round delight. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984851-49-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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