Friendship between a little boy and an old lady is a lovely thing, but the story lacks cohesion and purpose.

READ REVIEW

MAGGIE MCGILLICUDDY'S EYE FOR TROUBLE

A neighborhood busybody “keeps an eye out for trouble.”

Maggie McGillicuddy, an old white lady, sits on her porch knitting when a black family moves next door with their young son, Charlie. As he runs out the front door, his mother warns him to be careful. The boy quickly finds trouble in the form of a tiger stalking across the lawn. It is, of course, a cat, and Maggie and her knitting needles take care of the threat. The next day a tree root morphs into a snake, menacing the pizza-delivery woman, but Maggie again dispatches it. An imaginary eagle with outstretched talons is no match for Maggie either. Then, the next day, real trouble comes as Charlie chases his ball almost into the street but is saved when Maggie yells a warning. After that, Charlie sees a herd of elephants and a big-jawed crocodile but bravely faces them. Hughes addresses readers on more than one occasion, making sure that the threat is seen. “(You see it there, don’t you? Charlie did, too.)” Exactly what readers are supposed to understand is unclear. Not to fear imaginary threats? To embrace paranoia? That Maggie and Charlie are sharing hallucinations? Kerrigan’s bland, washed-out illustrations offer little clarity.

Friendship between a little boy and an old lady is a lovely thing, but the story lacks cohesion and purpose. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-77138-291-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Newbery Medal Winner

  • Caldecott Honor Book

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more