Superhero Dad would be the clear victor in a matchup against Superhero Mom, though neither can stand up to Superman.

SUPERHERO MOM

Move over Superhero Dad—there’s a new superhero in town.

As in their previous collaboration (2016), Knapman and Berger spin a young girl’s ordinary routine so that it seems her mother must be a superhero: whipping up breakfast (including “mending” the mixer with a screwdriver before using it), carrying a bunch of things (including her daughter!) and “flying” to the bus stop, making up fun games to play, kissing and bandaging injuries, and finding lost items. Knapman’s rhyming text sometimes stumbles in its rhythm, and the rhyme scheme, usually abcb, falters as it approaches the book’s conclusion. And unlike in the Dad title, in which the father turns the tables and says his son is the superhero for being “brave and kind and fun,” the mother here simply states: “Every mom’s a superhero / and so is every girl!” Rainbow-bright colors, dots, stripes, and stars fill the pages, befitting the superhero theme. Both mother and child are white with reddish hair, mom’s in a perky ponytail. Other parents and children in the background are diverse; all female characters sport eyelashes. Eyes—just black dots in otherwise white eyes—can sometimes appear manic rather than enthusiastic.

Superhero Dad would be the clear victor in a matchup against Superhero Mom, though neither can stand up to Superman. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0567-1

Page Count: 29

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Review Posted Online: March 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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