Both baby twins and a grandma-centered storyline add range to the new-baby shelf.

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POPPY'S BEST BABIES

Can Poppy learn to share her beloved GeeGee with her new twin baby sisters?

Poppy, an anthropomorphic bunny, is excited both about her new baby sisters and about GeeGee’s two-week visit. Kids at school remember that GeeGee always does crafts with Poppy, but veteran older siblings also warn her that the babies may monopolize GeeGee’s time. When the latter proves true, Poppy’s rabbit nose is decidedly out of joint, and she starts resenting the babies and her grandmother. She acts out, making messes and deciding that GeeGee is the “worst grandma” and the twins are the “worst babies.” Exasperated after one terrific mess, GeeGee sends Poppy to her room, and in a contemplative spread that slows down time by showing Poppy seven times in one scene, she reflects on her actions and comes up with a plan to make things right and not “be the worst big sister.” The about-face she undergoes as she enlists friends to plan a welcome party for the babies and GeeGee might strike some as far-fetched. Also potentially implausible is just how laid-back and open Poppy’s parents are to having a great big party while parenting newborn twins. Despite such quibbles, Bonnet’s emotive, energetic illustrations help create memorable characters, especially in their depiction of rocker, biker GeeGee and through Poppy’s dramatic facial expressions (especially the scowls).

Both baby twins and a grandma-centered storyline add range to the new-baby shelf. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58089-770-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

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LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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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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