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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Combine this with a kissing hand, and children will be ready to set off on their own to explore the world, safe in the...

THAT'S ME LOVING YOU

Rosenthal describes the love an adult caregiver has for a child as expressed through nature metaphors.

Most of White’s striking artwork—highly detailed, retro-style designs—highlights a single child on each page, so Rosenthal’s verses about an adult always being close by are comforting. “That shimmering star? / That’s me winking at you,” and “That inviting ocean? / That’s me waving at you.” The adult narrator raves about a child with a thunderclap, a mosquito’s buzz is “me bugging you,” and the pouring rain is “me missing you.” The first two spreads feature the same brown-haired, light-skinned boy setting out independently, as children are meant to do. (The pages in between feature children of both genders in a multitude of skin and hair colors.) He is joined in two of the last three spreads by his similar-looking mother: “That feeling you always have in your heart? / That’s me loving you. // Whether together… // Or apart.” From the wind to a butterfly to a cloud, the breeze, and a star, Rosenthal has covered most of the natural world, so no matter where children wander, there are reminders of their loving adults everywhere.

Combine this with a kissing hand, and children will be ready to set off on their own to explore the world, safe in the knowledge that they are loved. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93238-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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