Design flaws aside, the book’s timely message of universality among diversity is a highly relevant one.

ARE YOUR STARS LIKE MY STARS?

No matter how different our lives are, some things are the same.

A child’s world is full of color—and, if they look closely, full of wonder. Most double-page spreads of this picture book feature rhyming verse set on the left-hand page that describes in developmentally appropriate language how a child narrator sees a color. Gold, for example, is “warm” and “full of sparkle,” whereas blue is “deep, wide, and open.” Each stanza ends with versions of the same question, which concludes across the gutter or after a page turn: “Is your gold… / …like my gold?” creating a repetitive pattern that will delight young readers. The text is accompanied by rich illustrations of diverse children from all around the world, including South Asia, Latin America, East Asia, and Western settings. The final page features a black child and a white child sitting arm and arm on a hilltop, looking at the same star, driving home the message that our similarities bring us together and our differences make us more beautiful. The best feature of the book is the highly textured, collage-style illustrations, many of which contain soft strokes of color that give the images a pleasantly dreamlike quality. Unfortunately, the print is small, and the single lines that begin with “…like my” often get swallowed up in the pictures and are difficult to find.

Design flaws aside, the book’s timely message of universality among diversity is a highly relevant one. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4549-3013-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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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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This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers.

COLOR DOG

A chunky board book about colors features photographs of dogs and incorporates many interactive elements.

Even the front cover of this title is interactive. Pull a large red tab, and a bulldog’s head moves back and forth as he chews on the shoelace of a red tennis shoe. Inside, further interactive features, rhyming text, and illustrations featuring cute pups and their adorable antics await. For example, the orange pages offer a collage of pumpkins, autumn foliage, puppies, and a cat, reading: “Orange the patch of pumpkins, / Orange the autumn leaves, / Orange the frumpy, napping cat… / that I chase up a tree.” One of the pumpkins is a flap that conceals the face of a precious pup, and another, larger flap hides a pop-up tree branch on which an orange kitty perches. Other pages incorporate some more noxious surprises, such as: “Green the swamp I love to swim in, / Green the summer grass, / Green the color of the air… / when my dog food gives me gas.” Pull the tab here to trigger a large green cloud that emanates from the back end of a suitably embarrassed-looking basset hound.

This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4986-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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