Children blessed with fun grandparents will love this celebration of that very special relationship.

SUPERHERO GRAN

A sibling pair adores their gran and all the fun she shares with them.

The fun of spending a day with grandma becomes pure magic when it’s Superhero Gran. Her home is full of games, toys, and unlimited sweet treats. Playing dress-up with her clothes and makeup table makes the children a “superhero team.” As Gran gardens, the children can play hide-and-seek. And, best of all, when it’s time to go home, Gran has a plan: She explains she can’t bear to let them go—it’s time for a super sleepover instead! Even the cats are happy to learn this. The rhyming text is easy and fun (and quick) to read aloud, turning this fairly mundane story into one that families will turn to repeatedly, especially at grandma’s house. The illustrations portray a joyful Black family with a stylish grandma wearing a short gray Afro, light makeup, and a flared dress; Dad, wearing a hoodie, waves goodbye on the first spread. Patterns, vibrant colors, and background graphics highlight the fantastical element of the children’s play. While the story feels familiar, the relationships are irresistible; anyone without a Superhero Gran will desperately want one after reading this. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.6-by-21.2-inch double-page spreads viewed at 54.5% of actual size.)

Children blessed with fun grandparents will love this celebration of that very special relationship. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1442-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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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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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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