The magic hour reveals the magical bond between a father and son.

DADDY, ME, AND THE MAGIC HOUR

A dad and his child share the time between sundown and dark exploring their world together.

Returning home from work and school, dad starts dinner while mom feeds the baby. But after dinner, it’s the titular Magic Hour, time for just father and the T-shirt–and-shorts–clad narrator to enjoy a post-dinner walk. As they wander, the protagonist’s red plastic bucket fills with found treasures that mark the highlights of the evening. A woman watering roses donates one after a playful sprinkle; the child pets a friendly dog, and then child and dad use the dog’s stick to play tic-tac-toe and to fence. They tickle each other with some bird feathers and swing hand in hand on the playground. Calm descends as the light in the illustrations fades. Crickets chirp; the duo catch fireflies in their hands. Dad swings the child up on his shoulders: “Together, we make a quiet giant / who can almost reach the moon.” The final page shows Mommy tucking the protagonist in. She has the rose and a daisy also gathered on the walk, and the bucket and treasures are prominently displayed. Rich’s characters are delightfully expressive, the narrator’s exuberance and wonder sometimes barely contained. And it’s clear that the father cherishes his bond with his child. All four family members have light-brown skin and dark hair; the people in their neighborhood are diverse.

The magic hour reveals the magical bond between a father and son. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5107-0791-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby.

BABY GOES TO MARKET

Baby is so charming that various vendors in this West African market gift him all sorts of yummies.

Baby rides on Mama’s back, held snug by a bright cloth wrap. Mama navigates the busy, colorful outdoor market, her woven basket balanced on her head. The text unrolls rhythmically in Atinuke’s storyteller’s voice: “Market is very crowded. Baby is very curious. Baby is so curious that Mrs. Ade, the banana seller, gives Baby six bananas.” Baby eats one and puts the remaining bananas in Mama’s basket. All the while Mama shops, unbeknownst to her, vendors continue to respond to Baby’s transparent delight with five oranges, four “sugary chin-chin biscuits,” three “roasted sweet corn,” and two pieces of coconut. With each delicacy given, Baby eats one and puts the rest in the basket. When Mama sees all the extra foodstuffs she didn’t buy, she’s concerned, until the vendors reassure her: “We gave those things to Baby!” In her debut picture book, Brooksbank offers bright, bustling tableaux of shoppers, vendors, and goods. The smiling, all-black cast sort through myriad wares, while the text keeps up its rhythm, introducing both typical items bought in a West African market and a gentle lesson in arithmetic as Baby alternately snacks on and stashes his gifts.

Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9570-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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