A delightfully “fishy” love story from Spain.

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SARDINES OF LOVE

When Grandmother Lola vanishes while fishing for sardines, Grandfather Lolo cries endless tears.

Lolo loves sardines and fishes for them daily with Jeff, an octopus, nearby. Even though Lola detests sardines, she sells them in her fish shop and cooks them for Lolo. One day Lola runs out of sardines; not wanting Lolo to go hungry, she goes fishing. Incredibly, a big sardine pulls her right into Jeff’s belly, which Lola discovers is “like a house.” (Really—there is a rug, pictures on the wall, and even a cookstove.) Inside Jeff’s belly, sardines are the only thing to eat, and Lola discovers “they were really tasty” and begins to experiment cooking them different ways. Meanwhile, when Lolo finds Lola missing, he can’t stop crying and floats on his tears into the ocean, where he finds Lola happily feasting on sardines inside Jeff. Using simple shapes, a retro palette of aqua, red, tan, and white, and unadorned flat backgrounds, the sophisticated, tongue-in-cheek illustrations infuse this bizarre story with whimsy and wit. Quiet domestic scenes of Lolo fishing and Lola frying sardines contrast with surreal views of Lola inside Jeff and Lolo lying on Jeff’s tentacle. Close-ups of Lolo’s tattoo proclaiming “I love sardines,” Lola’s tattoo of a heart inscribed with “Lolo,” and Lola’s new tattoo of a sardine add subtle visual humor.

A delightfully “fishy” love story from Spain. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-84643-727-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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