Hooray! Hooray! Again! Again! (Picture book. 2-4)

BIGGER! BIGGER!

Building-block play is fodder for a little girl’s imagination.

The exuberant, pigtailed girl from previous Patricelli titles (Faster! Faster!, 2012, etc.) returns, and here her pretend play centers on building blocks. The frontmatter pages show her dumping out multicolored blocks while wearing a construction hat. She starts to build, and the spare setting suggests the inside of a home. This changes with the page turn as the blue wall behind her morphs into an open blue sky, and her pets from the prior page become slightly anthropomorphized. The illustrations thus move readers into the realm of fantasy as the girl’s block creations are now presented as full-scale buildings: first a doghouse, then a house, and “Bigger! Bigger!” until a climactic spread depicts the girl and her pets rejoicing in front of the “Biggest!” city skyline. Then, “BOOM! BOOM!” They hear something, and a page turn reveals a larger-than-life, diapered baby stomping through the city like Godzilla. Readers may see that the baby bears a striking resemblance to the tot featured in Patricelli’s board book series, and they will doubtlessly realize that here the baby is the girl’s little sibling, wreaking havoc on her block play. The story shifts back to reality as baby tries to make amends and the big sister generously welcomes collaborative play. Both girl and baby present white.

Hooray! Hooray! Again! Again! (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7930-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable.

ANIMAL SHAPES

You think you know shapes? Animals? Blend them together, and you might see them both a little differently!

What a mischievous twist on a concept book! With wordplay and a few groan-inducing puns, Neal creates connections among animals and shapes that are both unexpected and so seemingly obvious that readers might wonder why they didn’t see them all along. Of course, a “lazy turtle” meeting an oval would create the side-splitting combo of a “SLOW-VAL.” A dramatic page turn transforms a deeply saturated, clean-lined green oval by superimposing a head and turtle shell atop, with watery blue ripples completing the illusion. Minimal backgrounds and sketchy, impressionistic detailing keep the focus right on the zany animals. Beginning with simple shapes, the geometric forms become more complicated as the book advances, taking readers from a “soaring bird” that meets a triangle to become a “FLY-ANGLE” to a “sleepy lion” nonagon “YAWN-AGON.” Its companion text, Animal Colors, delves into color theory, this time creating entirely hybrid animals, such as the “GREEN WHION” with maned head and whale’s tail made from a “blue whale and a yellow lion.” It’s a compelling way to visualize color mixing, and like Animal Shapes, it’s got verve. Who doesn’t want to shout out that a yellow kangaroo/green moose blend is a “CHARTREUSE KANGAMOOSE”?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0534-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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