Relentless.

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WELCOME TO YOUR WORLD

Prasadam-Halls and Kim celebrate new life with a rose-colored perspective.

The story opens with a double-page spread of a black-haired, brown-skinned mother cuddling a brown-skinned baby in a sunlit meadow replete with tree blossoms and flowers and rhyming text: “Welcome, little baby. / Welcome to your world.” The subsequent double-page spreads are done in the same lush style and show mama and baby animals with gentle smiles, cavorting in their golden-hued perfect habitats as the rhyming text (in second person, “Look up to the sky. Can you see the sun?”) extols the harmonious beauty of the world to readers. The narrative leans purple in its effusion, blithely ignoring strife, not to mention the food chain: “Listen to the creatures of the air and land and sea / living whole and happily, living wild and free.” The illustrations, while delightfully colorful, match, with their depiction of environmental perfection, the determinedly rosy tone of the text. It’s a nice concept, this welcoming new life to the world, but the whole story has an anthropocentric feel to it—beginning with the book’s title—as if this Disney-perfect natural world of harmony and health that “loves you through and through” is there only for the human child’s pleasure—an out-of-date idea, to say the least. In conclusion, the story asks readers, referring to “your world,” “will you love it too?” A vague nudge to stewardship? It’s unclear.

Relentless. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0622-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 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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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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