Many families will enjoy the interplay here between mother (efficient and loving) and daughter (sky’s the limit). (Picture...

TAKE YOUR MAMA TO WORK TODAY

A feisty, 7-ish girl informs readers what to expect when a snow day, babysitter snafu or “Take Your Child to Work Day” necessitates accompanying a parent to the office.

From the “hop hop hop” across the lobby floor on “just the black squares,” it’s clear that Violet’s visit will be a topsy-turvy experience for her mom’s bemused and beleaguered co-workers. Reichert embellishes a narrative style reminiscent of Laura Numeroff’s in the If You Give… series and presents a sturdy heroine evocative of Kay Thompson’s Eloise (as a member of the proletariat). Violet’s helpful advice interprets coffee breaks (snack time, with doughnuts) and networking (distributing your rampantly photocopied face, appended with your name and title). She helps the boss with his staff presentation (show-and-tell) and revels in office supplies. Boiger weaves her own daughter’s persona into these pencil-and–mixed-media illustrations, depicting Violet and her mother in color, while co-workers are rendered in pale blue-grays and ochres, and office equipment is outlined in similarly sere tones. Violet sports a green, pom-pom–topped cap, red sweater, denim shorts, striped tights and black low-top sneakers. Mom’s cranberry-colored umbrella figures visually in Violet’s day, whether it’s skewering doughnuts or delivering a shower of confetti adeptly fashioned from shredded paper and punched holes.

Many families will enjoy the interplay here between mother (efficient and loving) and daughter (sky’s the limit). (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 20, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7095-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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