20 HUNGRY PIGGIES

A NUMBER BOOK

Harris counts from one to twenty with some busy porkers getting ready for a picnic. Authors follow the “little piggy” baby rhyme for numbers one through five, then “We, we, we . . . We STILL aren’t done! There are other piggies coming.” And the reader can follow some more pigs through other illustrated activities: flying a plane, juggling tangerines and picking a centerpiece, just for starters. Another surprise comes when they are interrupted by the very hungry Wolf. Ravenous as he is, only 19 have arrived, and he won’t eat until he gets all 20. When the oblivious number 20 rings the dinner bell outside, Wolf is no match for 38 stampeding piggy feet heading for the food. They have “fun and food galore,” while Wolf nurses his aches and studies a book of vegetarian recipes. Variation on the familiar rhyme should tickle very young listeners and Harris’s illustrations, combining watercolor and computer graphics, are crisp and simple. While the pigs don’t gather collectively until the end, their respective numerals—on shirts, pockets, caps and jewelry—aid in the count-up. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8225-6370-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2007

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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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ROADWORK

Sutton’s latest is a truck-lover’s dream come true—repetition, rhyme and onomatopoeia form the text, while construction trucks vie for readers’ attention in the illustrations. The result is a wonderfully noisy look at how roads are built. From a line on a map and an empty field to the finished road complete with lights and signs, youngsters will be able to follow all the steps, learning all the vehicles that take part in the process (a final page introduces readers to each one). “Pack the ground. Pack the ground. / Roll one way, then back. / Make the roadbed good and hard. / Clang! Crunch! Crack!” Lovelock’s debut certainly makes an impression. His pigmented ink illustrations keep the focus on the machines and the individual parts they play in building the road. The level of detail matches the text’s intended audience—enough to satisfy, not so much as to overwhelm. Pave the way to this book’s shelf; perfect for read-alouds, it will be a hit whether shared with a group or one-on-one. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3912-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2008

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