TEN LITTLE LAMBS

In her debut picture book, McGinty depicts a slumber party that takes a sleepless turn in a comical counting rhyme. “Good night, little lambs. / Go to sleep,” says the mother to the children tucked in bed and counting sheep. The rumpus begins when she leaves: “Ten little lambs who won’t go to sleep. / What will they do all night? / They’ll tackle and tumble, and wrestle and rumble. / Ten little lambs all night.” Rendered in soft pastel hues, Sweet’s (The Sky’s the Limit, p. 266, etc.) busy watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations depict the children (who have turned into lambs) laughing, bouncing, and swinging from the bedpost in a raucous pillow fight. Encouraging participation, McGinty’s text remains essentially unchanged as the story counts down, except for the description of the lamb’s activity. To wit, “Six little lambs who won’t go to sleep. / What will they do all night? / They’ll plow winding freeways through piles of pj’s. / Six little lambs all night.” Sweet adds an important element to the narrative by placing the additional sleeping lambs in circles across the bottom of the page. The formula presents many mathematical possibilities, including comparing the number of lambs asleep and awake and calculating different combinations that total 10. It all adds up to good fun. And as a bonus, little ones who’ve yet to experience the irony of the slumber party will get solid training in the stay-awake-at-all-costs ritual. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8037-2596-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2002

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

AN ABC OF EQUALITY

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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