It’s hard to imagine this won’t be a hit.


A slice-of-life story about a little one with a big imagination.

Lila’s mother tries to usher her out the door to spend some time with Grandpa, but at every step Lila is caught up in her imagination and fails to follow through on her mother’s instructions. All the named characters are anthropomorphic bears, and alternating spreads show the real-world interactions between mother and child followed by Lila’s pretend-play scenarios, which undermine her obedience. For example, she hasn’t put on her shoes because playing with them and their unfurled laces makes her imagine wrestling an octopus (which she calls a monster) under the sea. Cavorting with her coat while balancing atop a stool makes her think of standing on a zebra’s back in a circuslike atmosphere. Lila’s shenanigans continue while en route to Grandpa, as she chomps a cookie on the train (imagining she’s a King-Kong–like creature overpowering the gingerbread man) and speeds off on her scooter ahead of her mother (pretending she’s driving a chariot). Grandpa is a playful sort who joins in on her play, and a lovely concluding illustration shows Lila’s mother settled on a bench and reading a book, indulging her own imagination through literature. Vibrant watercolors with loose lines conveying motion and energy are an ideal match for the playful, joyful text.

It’s hard to imagine this won’t be a hit. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68119-362-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby.


Baby is so charming that various vendors in this West African market gift him all sorts of yummies.

Baby rides on Mama’s back, held snug by a bright cloth wrap. Mama navigates the busy, colorful outdoor market, her woven basket balanced on her head. The text unrolls rhythmically in Atinuke’s storyteller’s voice: “Market is very crowded. Baby is very curious. Baby is so curious that Mrs. Ade, the banana seller, gives Baby six bananas.” Baby eats one and puts the remaining bananas in Mama’s basket. All the while Mama shops, unbeknownst to her, vendors continue to respond to Baby’s transparent delight with five oranges, four “sugary chin-chin biscuits,” three “roasted sweet corn,” and two pieces of coconut. With each delicacy given, Baby eats one and puts the rest in the basket. When Mama sees all the extra foodstuffs she didn’t buy, she’s concerned, until the vendors reassure her: “We gave those things to Baby!” In her debut picture book, Brooksbank offers bright, bustling tableaux of shoppers, vendors, and goods. The smiling, all-black cast sort through myriad wares, while the text keeps up its rhythm, introducing both typical items bought in a West African market and a gentle lesson in arithmetic as Baby alternately snacks on and stashes his gifts.

Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9570-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet