Beware, though, kids may want to wear their underwear like the veggies—without any clothes on top.

VEGGIES WITH WEDGIES

The vegetables in Farmer John’s garden learn all about underwear in Doodler’s latest.

Those who find underwear funny (mostly kids between 2 and 7) will have no problem overlooking the facts presented here: The veggies aren’t rooted in the ground; they have no hands, legs or butt cheeks to speak of; and they don’t have clothes to wear underwear under. None of this prevents them from checking out the many pairs of tighty whities (all different sizes) on the laundry line above their garden patch, wondering what they are for, and finally trying them on in various ways until Carrot finally sets them straight. Bad fits result in the titular wedgies, so they swap underwear until most are wedgie-free. While adults will surely cringe at the entire package, these veggies will have kids looking at their underwear in new ways. For those making the transition from diapers, this could be a turning point, especially considering the catchy jingle the vegetables sing at the end. Doodler’s characters convey a lot of emotion with just round eyes and simple mouths, though it’s too bad that Carrot, a seeming underwear expert, is stereotypically portrayed wearing glasses. But really, what’s not to like (if you’re very young) about digital vegetables with underwear on?

Beware, though, kids may want to wear their underwear like the veggies—without any clothes on top. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9340-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Exciting artwork paired with disappointingly dull text.

KINDNESS GROWS

Rhyming verses about kindness using a consistent metaphor of widening cracks versus blooming plants are amplified by cutouts on each page.

The art and layout are spectacular, from the cover through the double-page spreads near the end. Racially diverse toddlers are shown engaging in various moods and behaviors, some of which create unhappiness and some of which lead to friendship and happiness. Every page’s color palette and composition perfectly complement the narrative. The initial verso shows two children in aggressive stances, backgrounded by a dark, partly moonlit sky. Between them is a slender, crooked cutout. The large-type text reads: “It all / starts / with a / crack / that we can hardly see. / It happens when we shout / or if we disagree.” The recto shows two children in sunlight, with one offering a pretty leaf to the other, and the rhyme addresses the good that grows from kindness. In this image, the crooked die cut forms the trunk of a tiny sapling. Until the final double-page spreads, the art follows this clever setup: dark deeds and a crack on the left, and good deeds and a growing tree on the right. Unfortunately, the text is far from the equal of the art: It is banal and preachy, and it does not even scan well without some effort on the part of whomever is reading it. Still, the youngest children will solemnly agree with the do’s and don’ts, and they may decide to memorize a page or two.

Exciting artwork paired with disappointingly dull text. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-229-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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