Families with different-aged siblings will find much to relate to and discuss in this light but observant rendering of an...


A playfully oblique exposition of the perils and pitfalls of sibling rivalry.

A mouse, very like a 3- or 4-year-old child, is instructed by Mommy to keep quiet and not disturb baby brother mouse as he naps in his stroller. The narrator’s passive-aggressive solution to this situation is to engage in “quiet” activities that “accidentally” involve disturbing his little sibling’s rest. Mommy’s injunction, repeated frequently—“Shh! Your brother’s napping”—accompanies all the ways the older sib disrupts the baby. These include putting pan lids on his head, preparing to hit them drum-style with kitchen utensils; a well-aimed book, thrown because, he says, “there’s a scary part that makes me run.” Even the temptation to paint brother’s sleeping face is too great. So he goes for building with blocks, which is a fine quiet activity until—“Ooops!” everything tumbles down. Baby brother is now wide-awake. Thoroughly exhausted from the effort of disturbing the baby’s nap, older brother yawns and falls asleep, provoking the inevitable punch line from baby: “Shh! My brother’s napping.” Ohi’s playful, cartoonish watercolor illustrations in pastel colors beautifully illustrate the humorous, understated text while making the joke completely apparent.

Families with different-aged siblings will find much to relate to and discuss in this light but observant rendering of an age-old power struggle. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61067-552-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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Sure to invite cries of “Again!” (Picture book. 2-4)


From the Child's Play Library series

This picture book’s title belies its gently noisy contents.

The first-person text follows a child with light-brown skin and a mop of dark curly hair who takes readers throughout the family home and listens to all of the sounds therein. Neither text nor art provides a definite gender designation for the toddler, though a father and baby brother who share the same hair color and texture are identified as male. Race is similarly left ambiguous, with skin tones varying from page to page and no clear statement to specify race or ethnicity in the text. What is clear is that this child is comfortable and secure in Dad’s loving care and with the gentle companionship of a pet dog and cat in addition to the baby brother. Brightly colored interior scenes, together with occasional spreads with a minimal background that set objects and characters against the white of the page, invite readers to observe the many objects throughout the comfortable, spacious home, which are accompanied by sound effects. “Drip” goes a faucet, “Tingaling” rings a cat toy, “La La La La” sings Dad in a lullaby. And at book’s end, the titular quiet descends as the child drifts off to sleep. Throughout, appealing illustrations work with conversational, onomatopoeic text to engage readers in the tradition of historical “here and now” picture books.

Sure to invite cries of “Again!” (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84643-887-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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A lullaby sends Belle and her stuffed bunny, Boo, off to sleep.

The book opens with the sentient toy Boo stargazing from a treehouse window while Belle, a white girl with a brown bob, sings a lullaby. She’s in pajamas and ready for bed herself. It becomes unclear whether the ensuing text is in her voice or an omniscient narrator’s as she and Boo make their way to dreamland though a variety of settings evoked by the rhyming verses. Succeeding double-page spreads show scenes of a diverse group of children parading off to bed, with Belle and Boo always present. Some settings in this British import show a mismatch between text and art (“cowboys way out on the prairie” are in a cactus-studded desert), while others disappointingly reinforce stereotypes: a scene about dancers seems to omit all boy characters except for a single blond, white boy at center stage while nine girls stand in the wings, and then tipis show up in a nighttime scene with the children reading around a campfire surrounded by tents of many sorts. There’s no call from the text for their inclusion nor any cultural specificity that suggests a Plains Indian presence or context, which problematically renders the structures playthings verging on fantastic props. Throughout, the rhyming text seems a bit drawn-out, and illustrations verge on the saccharine.

A snooze. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-40833-708-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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