This celebration of the “baby burrito” is a playful and loving take on life in a Latinx family.

I LOVE YOU, BABY BURRITO

Two doting parents bring their newborn home in this sweet story told with Spanish phrases.

An excellent title for anyone who wants to convey the love and excitement of being a new parent, this bilingual picture book captures the joy of the first few days at home. The house is decorated with banners and balloons, giving the illustrations a celebratory feel. A stuffed llama, toys, and a bassinet have been prepared in anticipation of the birth, and the green and yellow colors in the nursery make it easy for any child to imagine themselves the baby arriving home in the story. The parents, a pale-skinned, redheaded mother and a brown-skinned, dark-haired father, hold their new arrival, then watch the baby in the bassinet until fussing begins. After feeding, they calm their babe by partaking in the universal act of swaddling the tot tightly in a blanket. Accompanying illustrations that show how the baby’s arms and legs are contained, with only the face peeking out, in a bundle that looks like a burrito, the text deftly interjects Spanish words while conveying their meaning through the artwork. A sense of kindness and safety permeates the double-spread depictions of the parents and their child, resulting in a calm and peaceful tale of family love. A Spanish glossary and pronunciation guide follow this clever and heartwarming story. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-18-inch double-page spreads reviewed at 40.8% of actual size.)

This celebration of the “baby burrito” is a playful and loving take on life in a Latinx family. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-23109-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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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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