This could be a conversation starter about the manifestation of love between an adult-child reading pair…once they’ve parsed...

READ REVIEW

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOU

Farrington’s picture-book debut looks at all the things an adult caregiver loves about a child.

“I love when you / SMILE. // Right before you SING at the top of your lungs,” the narrator asserts. “I love when you’re CREATIVE. // Even when things get MESSY.” A caring adult loves holding hands but also loves when the child lets go to make a friend. The text may be similar to that found in numerous what-I-love-about-you books, but the mixed-media collages are distinctly unlike most in the genre. Photographs of found items, cut and digitally assembled, are placed on white backgrounds. Beautiful natural elements (vegetation, clouds, butterflies) stand out, especially the trees with teardrop-shaped leaves in rainbow hues. But the characters are something else. They may sport clothing and accessories and behave in human ways, but they are not at all human. Some are recognizable animals—a lion on a recumbent bike, for instance—but more are monsterlike creatures or hodgepodges of animal features; a yellow beast with a horselike snout, bug eyes, humanlike torso, and tiny arms and wings illustrates “getting messy,” for example. Readers may not know what to make of these sometimes-ugly beasts, which clash with the message delivered by the text, though they do nicely sidestep typical (and stereotypical) gender and racial depictions.

This could be a conversation starter about the manifestation of love between an adult-child reading pair…once they’ve parsed the attention-getting artwork. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-239353-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more