Can love change the world? Here’s hoping.

LOVE THE WORLD

Lots of things to love are presented in bright, bold pictures.

Each page offers a simple imperative (or two)—“Love”—followed by an object to love. The first is “Love the world,” and the illustration, against a sky-blue background, shows the Earth in green and blue with a big red heart affixed. Other things to love range far and wide: your face, your nose, your toes, your eyes, your size. In the “Love your toes” picture, a bright pink pig wallows on its back in a large patch of brown mud. Love “the bees” and “the trees”; love “making art” and “sharing your heart”; love “your walk” and “your talk.” “Love taking a stand” depicts a smiling Statue of Liberty holding a sign that reads “Welcome, friends!” The animals in “Love the sea” are a variety of colors. Those in “Love the land” have wild patterns as well, like a purple elephant with multicolored polka dots. Parr’s people are his customary assemblage of very diverse humans, including blue and purple people, and an orange child with green hair smiles from a wheelchair. Parr’s simplicity is integral to the power of his book. His positive messages are bolstered by the sunniness of his illustrations, which could have been drawn by a young child. They’re done on a drawing tablet, starting with bold black lines and dropping in vibrant color.

Can love change the world? Here’s hoping. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-50658-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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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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