Cooperation makes cleaning go much faster—particularly with friendly, rhyming llamas to show the way.

LLAMA LLAMA MESS MESS MESS

From the Llama Llama series

Llama Llama learns why tidying is important.

In yet another highly familiar childhood drama, Llama Llama does not want to clean up his toys. He’s having fun playing; why should he stop? Isn’t it Mama Llama’s job to clean up? Mama poses the question: “What if Mama never cleaned? / Imagine that! / What would that mean?” Mama zooms off on her roller skates, with a sheet for a cape, crunching snacks and dropping everything on the floor. Soon the house is strewn with toys, dirty dishes, and trash. “Crumbs and clothes and peanut shells… / What’s this thing? What’s that smell?” Llama Llama can’t take it anymore. “No more Llama / MESS / MESS / MESS!” Perhaps it is a good idea for Llama Llama to lend a hand. Helpful hints for youngsters are slipped inside: Every toy should have a place, and when making your bed, don’t forget to look underneath. This second collaboration between Duncan and Morrow since Dewdney’s passing feels more complete than Llama Llama Loves to Read (2018), with snappy rhythms and a twinkle in Mama’s eye. Returning to Llama Llama and Mama’s relationship feels like home.

Cooperation makes cleaning go much faster—particularly with friendly, rhyming llamas to show the way. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-670-01644-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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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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Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits.

PLANTS FEED ME

This simplest of informational picture books offers a sensible, sunny celebration of the plants—specifically the parts of plants—that we eat.

The opening scene shows a boy seated at table surrounded by a rich harvest. He’s holding a watermelon rind that mirrors the wide grin he wears, helping to set the good-natured tone of the book. As preschoolers examine the pages, they will learn about the featured fruits and vegetables and how they grew. Warm gouache-and–colored-pencil illustrations first depict a garden where “Plants reach up for the sun. / They grow down in the ground.” As the narrator goes on to explain that “I eat different parts from different plants,” such as roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, flowers and seeds, youngsters will find labeled images to peruse. The short, declarative sentences are easily digested by the very youngest and will tempt burgeoning readers to test their skills. Best of all, children will surely be inspired to taste some of the produce the next time it appears on their plates.

Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits. (Informational picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2526-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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