Bright, colorful joy for the rainiest of days.

RAIN

Seeing the window beaded with morning raindrops, the white child narrator can’t wait to get out into the wet, but Granddad says they should wait until the weather clears.

The second installment of a four-part seasonal series (Snow, 2015), this cheery British import celebrates patience, gleeful fulfillment—and rain. The narrator longs to “catch raindrops, splash in puddles, and look at everything upside down.” But Granddad’s busy writing a letter. Ink drawings (deftly executed and weighted) show redheaded child and bald, paunchy, smiling grandfather amicably indoors together while the rain continues outside. Pleasing primary colors pool both in the homey inside vignettes, appearing like puddles on the blank page, and in the rain-soaked, outdoor double-page spreads. Granddad finally gets giddy about mailing his letter, and the two cross the threshold to behold reflective waters lapping right up to the top step, mirroring the sky and house, creating a topsy-turvy, upside-down, wavy world. Young readers will feel exhilarated by this altered reality, etched out brilliantly with lithe linework and gorgeous washes of color. When Granddad and the boy climb aboard a boat and encounter a carnival boat party, readers will revel in the expansive, exciting scene: goofy gondoliers, bouncing musicians, jingling jesters, a picnicking king and queen, a dark-skinned family enjoying teatime, flapping flags and pennants, soaring polka dots and stripes.

Bright, colorful joy for the rainiest of days. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9296-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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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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