A clever, if not new, concept with uneven execution.

ROUND

A rhyming glimpse at round shapes in nature.

“Nature all around is round,” begins this exploration of shapes round or partially round in nature, beginning with a tiny bird and ending with the planets in our solar system. The pair of two-word phrases in each illustration, each dyad ending with “round,” rhymes: “Glowing round. / Growing round,” reads the text in a spread that features fireflies encased in rings of lights and a crescent moon. In a spread featuring a frog, the creature hangs on tight to a lily pad caught on a small current (“Cling round”) and then jumps into the water, creating ripples in the water that “Ring round.” Some pairings will prompt discussion more than others, such as an empty nest that is “Nest round” paired with a nest filled with bird eggs that is “Best round.” Children will notice that the shapes featured aren’t all circular in nature; some have merely rounded edges, such as the budding leaves on a tree, raindrops, and clouds. Most phrases are modified nouns, such as “Flake round,” though one is a full sentence (“Make round” for a snowman on the same spread), and some are modified verbs. The primarily earth-toned, uncluttered spreads provide a simplified, close-up look at the natural elements and animals named as round. Readers would be better served by Joyce Sidman’s and Taeeun Yoo’s Round (2017), in which all shapes are circular. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

A clever, if not new, concept with uneven execution. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3119-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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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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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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