Lacking some of the charm of the longer books, this introduction to the world of the Doll People will still cultivate...

THE DOLL PEOPLE'S CHRISTMAS

From the Doll People series

The beloved Doll People series of novels for middle graders extends to a younger audience with this Christmas story.

The Doll family of eight tiny, old-fashioned dolls belongs to a girl named Kate, who has custody of the family-heirloom dolls and their furnished Victorian dollhouse. Her younger sister, Nora, has her own modern, plastic dollhouse with a family of five plastic dolls, the Funcrafts. The dolls move and talk at night when the humans are asleep, and the daughters of the two families, Annabelle Doll and Tiffany Funcraft, are best friends. Annabelle is upset when Kate breaks the angel topper for the tiny dollhouse Christmas tree; this will upset her plans for a traditional Christmas. Further complicating things, Kate and Nora take all the dolls to their own living room and dress them as figures for their family Nativity scene, and minor plot difficulties ensue. Christmas morning brings filled stockings for the doll children, with a new star ornament for the dollhouse Christmas tree. Full-color illustrations and a large trim size create an overall contemporary milieu, in contrast to the black-and-white, nostalgic illustrations in the Doll People chapter books. All the human and doll characters are white; Annabelle Doll’s blue-green hair may well provoke puzzlement.

Lacking some of the charm of the longer books, this introduction to the world of the Doll People will still cultivate younger fans. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4847-2339-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ALWAYS MORE LOVE

An interactive book works to get its titular message across to readers.

The narrator, an anthropomorphic cartoon heart with big eyes and stick arms and legs, is nothing if not exuberant in its attempts, clumsy and cloying as they may be. “I love you so much, / but there’s more in my heart. / How is that possible? / Well, where do I start? // Now move in close, and you will see / just how much you mean to me. // My love is huge—below, above. / As you can tell, there’s always more love!” The page following the instruction to move in shows a close-up of the top of the heart and its eyes, one stick arm pointing skyward, though despite the admonition “you can tell,” readers will glean nothing about love from this picture. À la Hervé Tullet, the book prompts readers to act, but the instructions can sometimes be confusing (see above) and are largely irrelevant to the following spread, supposedly triggered by the suggested actions. The heart, suddenly supplied with a painter’s palette and a beret and surrounded by blobs of color, instructs readers to “Shake the book to see what I can be.” The page turn reveals hearts of all different colors, one rainbow-striped, and then different shapes. Most troublingly, the heart, who is clearly meant to be a stand-in for loved ones, states, “I’m always here for you,” which for too many children is heartbreakingly not true.

Skip. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1376-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more