A passage toward sweet dreams, with enough variety in the imagery for repeat visits.


Heimbach presents a lullaby app with the hypnotizing look and feel of a mandala.

A boy is tucked in bed under a crazy quilt. “I dreamt of things that were never seen, / sunlit valleys with hidden streams / that flowed to oceans deep and clean.” Clearly the work is for the young, and they too should be tucked in bed, for the action here is purely visual—and minimal at that—and there is no need to be touching the screen. Tolentino’s artwork has a Rousseau-esque naïveté, albeit on a simpler level; muffled chimes and gongs serenade the narrator, whose voice approaches a whisper as her inflection rises and falls to the rhyme. In that deep, clean ocean lives a whale, and the whale is also dreaming. The whale dreams of a desert and sand, where a snail of many hues is dreaming of a forest dripping with dew. In the forest, hummingbirds dream of snow reflecting moonlight, and burrowed in the snow is a mouse who is dreaming of a warm cabin. Rather than discontent, Heimbach coaxes a sense of adventure and exploration—a great circle—from the dreamscapes, each beckoning. In the final tableau, all of the animals appear as constellations in the night sky that enfolds the cabin, giving a timeless, ancient quality to the lullaby.

A passage toward sweet dreams, with enough variety in the imagery for repeat visits. (iPad storybook app. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2014


Page Count: -

Publisher: My Digital Landscape

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.


From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.


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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