The smart and sneaky puss wins the day.

BATHE THE CAT

With a wildly mixed-up list of chores, will the house ever get cleaned?

Grandma is on her way over, and the house is a mess. Using colorful magnetic letters on the refrigerator, Daddy—one of two dark-skinned fathers—makes a to-do list that consists of mopping the floor, scrubbing the dishes, vacuuming the rug, feeding the fish, mowing the lawn, sweeping the mat, rocking the baby, and bathing the cat. That last instruction gets the attention of the marmalade-colored feline, whose ears perk up. In the next spread, readers see a paw rearranging the letters on the refrigerator, which results in utter confusion for the family—and subsequent slapstick adventures. Bobby rocks the rug; Dad attempts to mow the cat; and Sarah mops the baby. Daddy tries his best to get the chores in order, but the kitty continues to wreak havoc at the refrigerator. More than once, confused Daddy returns to the list but continues to dole out chores. In the end, the lucky cat merely gets a cuddle (no baths), and Grandma visits a clean house. McGinty’s jaunty, rhyming text makes for a fun read-aloud, but Roberts’ brightly colored, energetic illustrations are the real attraction. The increasingly frantic family, with light to dark skin tones, doing silly tasks from a muddled list will incite giggles. (This book was reviewed digitally).

The smart and sneaky puss wins the day. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4521-4270-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration.

I LOVE DADDY EVERY DAY

Children point out the things they love about their fathers.

“Daddy is always kind. He gives us support and shelter when things go wrong.” A child with a skinned knee (and downed ice cream cone) gets a bandage and loving pat from Daddy (no shelter is visible, but the child’s concerned sibling sweetly extends their own cone). Daddy’s a storyteller, a magician, supportive, loyal, silly, patient, and he knows everything. A die-cut hole pierces most pages, positioned so that the increasingly smaller holes to come can be seen through it; what it represents in each scene varies, and it does so with also-variable success. The bland, nonrhyming, inconsistent text does little to attract or keep attention, though the die cuts might (until they fall victim to curious fingers). The text also confusingly mixes first-person singular and plural, sometimes on the same page: “Daddy is like a gardener. He lovingly cares for us and watches us grow. I’m his pride and joy!” Even as the text mixes number the illustrations mix metaphors. This particular gardener daddy is pictured shampooing a child during bathtime. Más’ cartoon illustrations are sweet if murkily interpretive, affection clearly conveyed. Troublingly, though, each father and his child(ren) seem to share the same racial presentation and hair color (sometimes even hairstyle!), shutting out many different family constellations. Más does, however, portray several disabilities: children and adults wearing glasses, a child with a cochlear implant, and another using a wheelchair.

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12305-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more