EAT YOUR PEAS

A child’s staunch refusal to eat her peas and her mother’s elaborate enticement is the basis for this zany but telling tale. Readers will instantly recognize the scenario: Daisy sits at the table facing down “the little green balls that were ganging up on her plate” while her frazzled mother attempts to get her to eat. A seemingly harmless proposition of ice cream as a reward begins an avalanche of absurdity as Daisy’s desperate mother soon offers all kinds of outrageous treats. “If you eat your peas, you can have 48 dishes of ice cream, stay up past midnight, you never have to wash again, I’ll buy you two new bikes, and a baby elephant.” However, “I don’t like peas,” remains Daisy’s steadfast reply. The predicament is resolved as Daisy slyly negotiates that she will eat her peas if her mom eats her own untouched Brussels sprouts—at which point they agree to eat some ice cream instead. Sharratt’s (The Time It Took Tom, 2000, etc.) colorful, computer-aided illustrations humorously underscore the hilarity of the situation. Each time Daisy’s mom offers a bribe, a picture of the item appears next to the text; consequently, as she offers more and more bribes, her image shrinks accordingly to accommodate the pictures and text. Conversely, the image of Daisy looms larger as she gains more control. Parents and caregivers may inwardly cringe, but preschoolers will love the increasingly exorbitant bribes Daisy’s mom proffers. While this may not convert any readers into avid pea fans, the underlying message that everyone has individual tastes should help to diffuse dinnertime tensions. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7894-2667-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2000

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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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JAZZ BABY

A snappy rhyming text celebrates an extended family’s joyous gyrations to the jazz spinning on the turntable. From waking to sleep, Baby’s right in the thick of it, as siblings, grandparents and cousins move and groove: “So they BOOM-BOOM-BOOM / and they HIP-HIP-HOP / and the bouncin’ baby boogies with a BOP-BOP-BOP.” Wheeler’s verse scans beautifully and begs to be read aloud—danced to, even—making this a fine choice for preschool and kindergarten story times. Christie’s bold, double-paged gouache compositions locate this colorfully garbed, expressively hip family within an equally vibrant community. As Baby’s big dark eyes get glassy with fatigue, the party winds down. “Daddy sings blues. / Mama sings sweet. / While that snoozy-woozy baby . . . / . . . sleeps deep, deep, deep.” Exultant and infectious, from the red-and-yellow-striped endpapers to the final “OH YEAH!” (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-15-202522-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2007

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