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From the Canticos series

Not quite as successful as the previous entries but still a charming addition to the series.

The traditional song sung for birthdays in Mexico is presented with an American twist at the end.

In this new addition to the Canticos series, Jaramillo has kept to her successful concertina format. The book can be read in Spanish on one side and in English on the other. When someone is celebrating their birthday in Mexico, they are traditionally greeted with “Las mañanitas.” According to the song, this was the way that King David greeted the morning, and because it is your birthday we will sing it to you. This bilingual presentation of the song remains faithful to the original in Spanish but has taken a few liberties with the English translation to accommodate for rhyme and meter, always a fine line to walk when translating a song. In both languages the song segues right into the American song traditionally sung at birthday times, the newly copyright-free “Happy Birthday.” Young children will find a few flaps to open—such as a window that, when lifted, reveals a rooster crowing at daybreak—that will add to their delight. In the “Happy Birthday” part there is a blank banner in which the name of the birthday child can be inscribed.

Not quite as successful as the previous entries but still a charming addition to the series. (Board book. 1-5)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-945635-07-6

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Encantos

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A clever conceit but a bland execution.

In this minimalist Australian import, readers are encouraged to guess animals based on select written and visual clues.

On each recto, readers see the hindquarters of an animal, and three simple clues ask them to guess what kind of animal they may belong to. “I have long furry ears and a small nose. / I live in a burrow in the ground. / I have a white fluffy tail. / I AM A….” The splashy watercolor rear legs and tail are ambiguous enough that they may have readers second-guessing the obvious answer. Turning the page, however, readers discover both the well-defined front half of the animal and the animal’s name: “RABBIT.” Canty uses stock 19th-century animal illustrations layered with watercolor enhancements, creating a somber yet surprising tone. Two tailless animals, a frog and human readers, are included in the roster, making the “tails” referenced in the title symbolic rather than literal. Two red herrings, the image of a mouse between the clues for and image of an elephant and (inexplicably) a squirrel leading to a giraffe, fall flat, with no other cues to young readers that they are jokes. The quirky illustrations, earthy colors, and lack of exhibited enthusiasm will make this book’s audience a niche one. There is no backmatter.

A clever conceit but a bland execution. (Informational picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0033-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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A fun, new take on droppings.

Youngsters can learn about where and how various animals, domestic and wild, relieve themselves.

Via a pull-tab embedded in each recto (not, thankfully, in the rectum) readers can see the before and after, and a goldfish in a bowl leaves a trail while swimming. The verso asks each creature where it does its business, and then a (sometimes-forced) rhyming quatrain, translated from Italian, answers the question: “And where do YOU poop, mouse? / When inside my tummy / Starts to feel not so good / It’s time for a poop / On these chips made of wood!” The final double-page spread queries readers: “And where do YOU poop?” A redheaded, White toddler’s face is visible below this question; the pull-tab on the right opens a bathroom to reveal a White toddler, this time with medium brown hair, happily and modestly sitting on a blue toddler potty. The accompanying quatrain provides some developmentally appropriate guidance for feeling the signs of a movement coming on. Baruzzi’s art is droll and graphically clean (inasmuch as the depiction of excrement can be described that way). Little fingers may need some help finding the relatively easy-to-open and sturdy pull-tabs, since they blend into each page. It works as both a biology lesson and potty-training encouragement.  

A fun, new take on droppings. (Novelty board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66265-042-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: minedition

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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