Validates a child’s anger but doesn’t reflect on it.

ZADIE AND THE STRIPEY SOCK

When Zadie’s family ignores her, she decides to run away from home.

She packs her bag with her most important possessions, including a snorkel, binoculars, and a piece of toast. Just when she is ready to leave, though, she realizes that she’s missing something: one rainbow stripey sock. Zadie sets off to find it, confronting the family members who made her angry. Jack—who appears to be her brother—hasn’t seen the sock. Maggie—who might be Zadie’s sister—tells Zadie she doesn’t have the sock because “Stripes are not cool.” At one point, she thinks she finds her dog chewing the sock, but when she realizes that the animal is ruining her brother’s shirt and not her sock, she walks away. Dad is too busy working in the garden to help, and Mom is too busy making a phone call. Zadie’s anger builds and builds, and she is more and more sure that running away is the right decision. That is, until she finally finds her younger sibling playing with her sock—and remembers why family isn’t all bad. Although Zadie’s anger is both accessible and refreshing, she does not seem to reflect on how her interactions with family members border on selfish and rude. The third-person narratorial voice deftly balances sincerity and humor. Illustrations depict brown-skinned Zadie’s family as interracial, with a brown-skinned mom and White-presenting dad.

Validates a child’s anger but doesn’t reflect on it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7360319-2-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penny Candy

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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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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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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