A terrific book to share with children preparing for their first flights as well as Yoko’s fans.

READ REVIEW

YOKO FINDS HER WAY

From the Yoko (Rosemary Wells) series

Yoko and her kimono-clad mother have an adventure at the airport at the beginning of their trip to Japan.

The security process exhausts Mama, who falls asleep at the gate, so Yoko goes by herself to the restroom. But when she exits by a different door, she and her mother have some difficulty in finding each other again. Though each runs afoul of the basic principle of search and rescue—stay put—the glitch offers Yoko, and by extension young readers, an opportunity to be independent and resourceful. Yoko finds her way to the airport police, while her mother enlists the reassurances of several helpful workers, and they are comfortably reunited. For some reason, everyone in this airport, unlike at Yoko’s school, is a cat—maybe to minimize the scariness of crowds of strangers? Icons for everything (food, stairs, elevators, terminals, airport police) give readers a chance to note details and to be observant along with Yoko as she figures out what to do. A successful conclusion for the trip and perhaps a recounting to grandmother of the adventure must wait for another book. The rich presentation, from endearing illustration to paper and design to color and touches of gold and silver, celebrates the experience of reading a book; that the story is told in both words and symbols allows young listeners to follow along in complex ways.

A terrific book to share with children preparing for their first flights as well as Yoko’s fans. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-6512-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2014

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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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This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

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LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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