This playfully mischievous ode to sibling solidarity is sure to inspire similar nocturnal escapades among readers.

THE MIDNIGHT CLUB

The shadowy blanket of midnight provides the perfect cover for two sisters to enjoy a clandestine adventure.

Awake with anticipation, Milly is eager for her first nighttime jaunt with the Midnight Club. At exactly midnight, she wakes up her big sister, Becca, and the pair proceeds to slink, sneak, and creep through the darkened hallways and empty rooms of their home. The late hour transforms the house into an inky blue playground splashed with pools of candescent yellow light. Milly and Becca revel in the liberation that comes with sleeping parents as they indulge in Dad’s jelly beans and play dress-up in Mom’s raincoat. The tender bond between sisters is evident in their conspiratorial glee during their covert shenanigans and their reliance on each other during tenser moments. Satisfied and sleepy, they nestle together in bed, resting up for tomorrow’s Midnight Club meeting. This charming story perfectly balances the thrill of pushing boundaries with the comfort of having your best friend along for the ride. The succinct text is made for hushed whispers and conveys the intimacy of shared secrets. Watercolors perfectly capture the hazy, dreamlike atmosphere of the sleeping house, while a spectrum of deep indigo, dusky purples, and cozy yellows highlights the contrast between dark and light. Becca and Milly have olive skin and black hair.

This playfully mischievous ode to sibling solidarity is sure to inspire similar nocturnal escapades among readers. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77147-394-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby.

BABY GOES TO MARKET

Baby is so charming that various vendors in this West African market gift him all sorts of yummies.

Baby rides on Mama’s back, held snug by a bright cloth wrap. Mama navigates the busy, colorful outdoor market, her woven basket balanced on her head. The text unrolls rhythmically in Atinuke’s storyteller’s voice: “Market is very crowded. Baby is very curious. Baby is so curious that Mrs. Ade, the banana seller, gives Baby six bananas.” Baby eats one and puts the remaining bananas in Mama’s basket. All the while Mama shops, unbeknownst to her, vendors continue to respond to Baby’s transparent delight with five oranges, four “sugary chin-chin biscuits,” three “roasted sweet corn,” and two pieces of coconut. With each delicacy given, Baby eats one and puts the rest in the basket. When Mama sees all the extra foodstuffs she didn’t buy, she’s concerned, until the vendors reassure her: “We gave those things to Baby!” In her debut picture book, Brooksbank offers bright, bustling tableaux of shoppers, vendors, and goods. The smiling, all-black cast sort through myriad wares, while the text keeps up its rhythm, introducing both typical items bought in a West African market and a gentle lesson in arithmetic as Baby alternately snacks on and stashes his gifts.

Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9570-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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