Diminutive in size—just right, really, for a midnight conversation—and pleasantly sweet.

ARE YOU AWAKE?

The titular question sparks a conversation many parents will find very familiar.

Edward peppers his mom with question after question—nothing unusual about that. Problem is, it’s 4:00 a.m. Sleepy circular logic results from the combination of Edward’s repetitious, 30-plus queries and Mom’s patient, bemused answers. When “Why hasn’t the sun come up yet?” is posed for the fourth time, she switches from allusions to moon and stars to a perfunctory “Because it’s Tuesday.” We learn that Dad is a pilot flying at night—one source, perhaps, of the little one’s restlessness. Blackall provides visual indicators that invite children to track the passage from night to morning. Color alters gradually from the bedroom’s dusky grays to the golden light suffusing the room at sunrise. An analog clock shaped like a green owl marks the hour in some spreads. Just for fun, apparently, in a corner of the verso pages, Edward’s roly-poly toy elephant cavorts before succumbing to zzzzs. The boy’s dialogue is in lower case, while Mom’s is proffered in gently emphatic caps. As she wakes fully, Mom poses a few Qs of her own, then opines about yellow things. Edward finally slumbers, Dad comes home—and a last spread promises more “Why?”s.

Diminutive in size—just right, really, for a midnight conversation—and pleasantly sweet. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 24, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8050-7858-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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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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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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