A brief introduction to good twin kitties and a rascally mouse.

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KIT & KABOODLE

Kit and Kaboodle are the stars of Wells’ newest series, kitty twins who never make any trouble—but a little mouse named Spinka creates all kinds of mischief for them.

Wearing a jaunty red cap, wee Spinka is the villain of this “not me!” story. In three short vignettes, the little mouse creates just a teaspoon of trouble in each. Mama and Daddy immediately blame the twins for each misadventure, while the kitties profess their innocence. Neither adults nor children ever notice the sneaky squeaker, who gleefully relishes her devious behavior. With signature Wells’ colors and animal sweetness, the illustrations will have young listeners searching out the impish mouse. The trouble is tiny indeed, as the extent of it is only a slightly stern parent blaming the children for using too much bubble bath or eating one of the chocolate blimpies. Discussions can focus on how Spinka feels left out when she doesn’t receive a gift or isn’t invited to play baseball. Will Spinka ever be caught? Or is Spinka just an imaginary pot-stirrer? Further ambiguity is introduced when Kit, who wears a dress and pink shoes while Kaboodle sports shorts, is referred to with the same masculine pronoun as their twin. Is it a typo or an exploration of gender ambiguity? Readers will need to wait till the next installment to find out.

A brief introduction to good twin kitties and a rascally mouse. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-13075-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 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 good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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