With demand for STEM-themed books for toddlers at an all-time high, this will undoubtedly prove popular with both ends of...

ROBOT SMASH!

The title sums it up: This mechanical man is a total wrecking machine.

Anything is fair game for the spherical hands that carry out this automaton’s single-minded mission—petunias, toilets, Brussels sprouts and (presumably included for adults) “All-talk radio.” At the culmination of his rampage, scores flash on the page, as in a video game. Solon’s designs are intentionally pixelated, so that nearly every shape has a zigzag contour, appropriate for his subject. The look lends energy and a sense of movement to the robot as he crashes his way against solid, changing background colors. He is accompanied by a spare—but bold and exclamatory—text. (Warning: Repeated readings may lead to an enthusiastic young listener’s first spoken or sight word being “SMASH!”) The protagonist’s life changes when he catches sight of a gigantic, purple robot destroying skyscrapers and automobiles. It is love at first sight for the twosome: Her thought bubble displays the proverbial baby carriage; his depicts a shared meal. Although the method that “Super-SMASHY girl robot” chooses to show affection gives new meaning to the term “crush,” the two appear to be made for each other. They definitely have a lot in common.

With demand for STEM-themed books for toddlers at an all-time high, this will undoubtedly prove popular with both ends of its intended audience. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-77147-067-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2015

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UMBRELLA

Momo longed to carry the blue umbrella and wear the bright red rubber boots she had been given on her third birthday. But day after day Indian summer continued. Momo tried to tell mother she needed to carry the umbrella to nursery school because the sunshine bothered her eyes. But Mother didn't let her use the umbrella then or when she said the wind bothered her. At last, though, rain fell on the city pavements and Momo carried her umbrella and wore her red boots to school. One feels the urgency of Momo's wish. The pictures are full of the city's moods and the child's joy in a rainy day.

Pub Date: March 1, 1958

ISBN: 978-0-14-050240-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1958

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Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here.

ONE LOVE

A sugary poem, very loosely based on the familiar song, lacks focus.

Using only the refrain from the original (“One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel all right!”), the reggae great’s daughter Cedella Marley sees this song as her “happy song” and adapts it for children. However, the adaptation robs it of life. After the opening lines, readers familiar with the original song (or the tourism advertisement for Jamaica) will be humming along only to be stopped by the bland lines that follow: “One love, what the flower gives the bee.” and then “One love, what Mother Earth gives the tree.” Brantley-Newton’s sunny illustrations perfectly reflect the saccharine quality of the text. Starting at the beginning of the day, readers see a little girl first in bed, under a photograph of Bob Marley, the sun streaming into her room, a bird at the window. Each spread is completely redundant—when the text is about family love, the illustration actually shows little hearts floating from her parents to the little girl. An image of a diverse group getting ready to plant a community garden, walking on top of a river accompanies the words “One love, like the river runs to the sea.”

Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0224-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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