A joyous tribute to the wonders of a rainy day for the pluviophile in all of us.

HELLO, RAIN!

A child and pet dog relish a rainy day.

Child and pet stare out the window as clouds gather. Excitedly, as the rain goes “plink, plunk, plonk” on the rooftop, the child dons a raincoat and boots and grabs an umbrella. (Even the dog gets a rain jacket.) The pair delight in the sensory adventure that is play in the rain: They ponder words for rain, the creatures who seek it, and the growing things nourished by it; jump in puddles; launch paper boats near a “curbside waterfall”; and find a quiet spot under a tree to sit for “whisper-talk.” When thunder and lightning fill the sky, they run inside to get warm and dry. In text that begs to be shared aloud, evocative figurative language (“the air is full of waiting” and “umbrellas bloom”), a heaping dose of onomatopoeia (“Crack! Flash!”), and delicious vocabulary (deluge, drizzle, and bursting) vividly animate the thrill of heading outside when “the sky is an adventure.” The illustrations themselves burst with life, movement, and mirth. Cerulean (for the rain) and yellow (for raincoats) hues enchant. One especially pleasing spread gives readers an aerial view of flowers, fruits, and vegetables that benefit from the drink that is the cool, fresh rain. Afterward, the sun and even a rainbow dazzle: “Hello, Sun!” The child has rosy-cheeked pink skin and straight, black hair in pigtails.

A joyous tribute to the wonders of a rainy day for the pluviophile in all of us. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3819-0

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

ROBOBABY

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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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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