A wondrous wordless picture book that will make readers want to grab a sand bucket and head to the beach.

A DAY FOR SANDCASTLES

An idyllic day at the beach silently unfolds.

As they did in Over the Shop (2021), Lawson and Leng create ample space for the reader to supply the story. The artwork begins and ends with lovely vistas of sea gulls on a deserted beach and a White family—a mother, father, and three kids—arriving and departing by bus. An image of the older boy running through dunes and beach grass, waving his shirt like a flag, sets the tone of exuberant joy. Everyone on this beach is cheerful and relaxed. Readers see beachgoers of various ages, skin tones, and body types engaged in sundry activities, including swimming, wading, taking photos, and playing catch with a beach ball. The siblings build and rebuild a sand castle, molding, shaping, and decorating it with found treasures only to have it repeatedly destroyed by the tide or sunbathers. The parents don’t try to solve this problem, instead allowing the children to persist and decide whether and where to rebuild. The family has a picnic lunch and there is an encounter with a particularly assertive sea gull. Subtle changes in the position of the sun and the shrinking beach as the tide moves in signal the passage of time. Single-page and double-page montages consisting of rows of square and rectangular panels are used to compress time, highlight characters’ emotions, and create bridges between scenes. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A wondrous wordless picture book that will make readers want to grab a sand bucket and head to the beach. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0842-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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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 perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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