A poignant and concise look at a preemie’s odyssey.



A premature baby recalls his journey in this debut rhyming picture book based on a true story.

Jacob explains that he is born months too early. After birth, he is taken to a big room where there are “wires and tubes all over the place.” He chronicles his experiences in a hot, bright, clear box where he is hooked up to tubes that help him breathe and eat. Although his parents are sad, they remain hopeful that Jacob will grow healthy. Jacob explains that he needs to stay in the hospital in order to become bigger and stronger. He discusses being frequently tested and examined by nurses. He also sees other mothers, “many of whom often wept.” Eventually, Jacob observes that his mom is beginning to look less unhappy. He is even visited by family members who get to hold him. Now, Jacob asserts, he is big and strong enough to live at home without tubes. Although his life is just beginning, Jacob concludes: “I am mighty, I am fierce, I will continue to fight.” The illustrations here are manipulated family photographs of the pale-skinned Jacob in various circumstances, such as being hooked up to machines and cradled by loved ones. Moniz, Jacob’s mother, provides a succinct depiction of a premature baby’s experience in child-friendly language. The moving tale may be most appreciated by parents and families dealing with babies in a similar situation.

A poignant and concise look at a preemie’s odyssey.

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5255-6241-9

Page Count: 52

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids.


Little girls are given encouragement and assurance so they can meet the challenges of life as they move through the big, wide world.

Delicately soft watercolor-style art depicts naturalistic scenes with a diverse quintet of little girls portraying potential situations they will encounter, as noted by a narrative heavily dependent on a series of clichés. “The stars are high, and you can reach them,” it promises as three of the girls chase fireflies under a star-filled night sky. “Oceans run deep, and you will learn to swim,” it intones as one girl treads water and another leans over the edge of a boat to observe life on the ocean floor. “Your feet will take many steps, my brave little girl. / Let your heart lead the way.” Girls gingerly step across a brook before making their way through a meadow. The point of all these nebulous metaphors seems to be to inculcate in girls the independence, strength, and confidence they’ll need to succeed in their pursuits. Trying new things, such as foods, is a “delicious new adventure.” Though the quiet, gentle text is filled with uplifting words that parents will intuitively relate to or comprehend, the esoteric messages may be a bit sentimental and ambiguous for kids to understand or even connect to. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30072-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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A friendly celebration of love for the youngest of readers.


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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