An unremarkable but effective way to inculcate familiarity with standard Christmas iconography

READ REVIEW

BABY'S FIRST CHRISTMAS

New babies don’t know much about Christmas. This simple board book aims to correct that situation.

The cover art of a smiling white snowman against a bright red background sporting a green-and-red stocking hat, scarf, and gloves invites readers in. Simple stock images, often of toys, one per page, highlight additional objects often associated with secular aspects of the holiday. Each item is shown in its most generic form, embossed and glossy against high-contrast backgrounds. Thankfully, not all the pictures are green and red. The first pages—of a snowflake and ornament—have blue and yellow backgrounds. The next two pictures, of a polar bear and penguin, are odd choices since they really have nothing to do with the holiday. A Christmas tree, angel, present, stocking, reindeer, and “santa” (the last printed in lowercase as if a generic) are more closely associated with the celebration. The angel is a knitted brown doll with a white handkerchief dress. The reindeer is a stuffed animal. Each object is clearly labeled, and an exclamation or question (“Look at her sparkly halo!”) in a smaller font extends the conversation. The final spread reprises all the images except the snowman.

An unremarkable but effective way to inculcate familiarity with standard Christmas iconography . (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4654-6867-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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 friendly celebration of love for the youngest of readers.

YOU'RE MY LITTLE CHICKADEE

A yellow chick is showered with love.

“You’re my little chickadee. / You mean everything in the world to me.” So begins this ode to a caregiver’s love for their little ones, a message emphasized by the “made with love” logo on the cover. The soft, pastel palette and simple, quick pace make this ideal for the smallest readers. The figure of the chick spreads so large across the page that its topknot is actually made of a stuffed, felt orange poof that rests atop the book, held in place by the back cover. Babies still teething will adore nibbling on it. Readers just beginning to learn how to hold books in their tiny hands will find much to enjoy here, but the window for use is a relatively small one. Caregivers with any familiarity with North American birds will be irked at the use of “chickadee” to describe this generic yellow bird, as it looks nothing like an actual chickadee, either juvenile or adult.

A friendly celebration of love for the youngest of readers. (Board book. 6 mos.-1)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-11089-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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