Bright, colorful joy for the rainiest of days.

READ REVIEW

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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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 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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