ALLIE ALL ALONG

A big brother helps his little sister calm down.

The cover art depicts the first-person narrator, a little boy of color with brown skin and curly black hair, looking at a red-furred monster sticking out its tongue. The front endpapers then depict a broken blue crayon on top of scribbled lines in warm hues on a blue background. Turn to the title page, and the narrator holds a pile of furry-looking things in reddish, yellow, and green hues while blue hands reach toward him from the right. The first spread with text then shows the boy looking wide-eyed at readers while seated at an art table. A red, spiky mass covers the bottom of the spread, which is supposed to represent Allie (or rather, the top of Allie’s head), in a rage after her crayon breaks. These crucial spreads are difficult to follow, and it will take concrete little thinkers some time to come to understand that Allie did not look like this prior to the beginning of the book. Instead, the book starts with the monstrous image, and Reul uses expressive color to indicate Allie’s rage as she pitches a fit in the form of the red monster. She literally sheds her red skin and shifts colors to yellow, then green, then blue as her big brother tries various calming techniques. Finally, she emerges as a little girl of color by book’s end, and she requests a hug.

A metaphorical miss. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2858-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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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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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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