Glamour, attitude, bucketloads of confidence, and a hefty dose of narcissism all rolled into the big personality of one...

I AM FAMOUS

Move over, Eloise, Fancy Nancy, and Olivia; this curly-haired, brown-skinned protagonist has miles of flair and knows how to use it.

This braggadocious protagonist declares that she’s been famous as long as she can remember. And she has. Or at least her parents treat her as though she has. While the illustrations show her being a typical kid—making a mess eating spaghetti as a toddler and later donning grown-up dress-up clothes—the text tells of her being catered to at every turn. Her family (the paparazzi) record her constantly, post movies of her that go viral, and treat her like royalty for mediocre performances. The color-filled, energetic art and excellent use of white space illustrate well that what the protagonist says is true: Lew-Vriethoff paints her 38 times in this 32-page book! In the end, the message prevails that her family loves her unconditionally. But this hyperbolic picture book also illustrates how easy it is for 21st-century kids to develop an inflated sense of self and feel entitled to rewards they haven’t earned. Tongue-in-cheek and humorous, this commentary that’s spot-on for kids growing up in a digital age will entertain children while giving their parents some apt food for thought.

Glamour, attitude, bucketloads of confidence, and a hefty dose of narcissism all rolled into the big personality of one memorable little girl. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8075-3440-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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Preachy and predictable.

RUBYLICIOUS

From the Pinkalicious series

Pinkalicious is excited to add the 100th rock to her rock collection.

Her brother, Peter, is not impressed. He thinks the rock looks dirty and that it isn’t special at all. When the siblings try to rub the rock clean, though, something wonderful happens: A magical figure emerges in a cloud of red smoke. Rather than ask her name, Pinkalicious and Peter tell her they will call her Rocky. Rocky accepts the new name and nervously says that she can grant the children a wish. But every time the sister and brother make a wish, Rocky initially grants it and then talks them out of it. When Peter and Pinkalicious wish for a gigantic mountain of sweets, for instance, a timorous Rocky shows them how eating so much sugar harms their bodies. When the children wish that they could fly, Rocky shows them how dangerous flying can be. When they wish to live in a castle, Rocky gives them a palace that is too large and cold to be any fun. In the end, Pinkalicious and Peter decide that the best wish they can make isn’t for themselves but for Rocky—a decision that leads to even more magical results. This latest series installment underwhelms. In addition to the arbitrary plot and wooden dialogue, Pinkalicious and Peter come across as maddeningly entitled. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Preachy and predictable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-305521-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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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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