This winning tale with considerable child appeal will entertain young readers whether they suffer from a bit of separation...

I WANT MY MOMMY!

Though he is distressed that his mother is going out for the whole day without him for the first time, Arthur and Grandma do their best to play through his bouts of moodiness and engage in some adventurous fun.

Small Arthur the mouse, dressed in a cozy, bright green dragon costume, is an adorable little fellow sure to instantly charm readers. Mommy takes him to Grandma’s house, where he is greeted with a big hug, “[b]ut soon it was time for Mommy to go.” Arthur “waved and waved until Mommy was gone.” Sympathetic Grandma suggests some activities. Paint a picture? “Rargghh!” Make some dragon music? “OK!” Each time Arthur and Grandma get carried away with their imaginary games, the doorbell rings. And each time Arthur is disappointed when it is the letter carrier or a neighbor instead of his mother. Dedicated Grandma matches each moment of despair with an even better idea. From hiding treasure to protecting its hiding place from the tickling Grandma-Knight, Arthur is kept happily occupied. When the doorbell rings one more time, brave Arthur the dragon is ready to battle whoever dares to enter. What a surprise when it is Mommy! Corderoy and Edgson combine an engaging text with a variety of full-page and spot illustrations that capture exciting episodes of dramatic play—Grandma brandishing her feather duster as a sword is particularly impressive—and glimpses of fleeting emotion.

This winning tale with considerable child appeal will entertain young readers whether they suffer from a bit of separation anxiety or not. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-130-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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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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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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