Find out why people don’t bite people elsewhere; get this to summon instant rereads and loud participation.

PEOPLE DON'T BITE PEOPLE

A rollicking reminder of what to do—and not do—with your pearly whites.

The commandments rhyme and scan terrifically right out of the gate: “It’s good to bite a carrot. / It’s good to bite a steak. / It’s BAD to bite your sister! / She’s not a piece of cake.” A white, blond, round-headed kid gazes dubiously across the spread at that blonde sister, who occupies the lower left quarter of her page. The other quarters of her page offer—natch—a carrot, a steak, and a piece of cake, all retro-styled and glowing. The next spread features a black sibling team with similar instructions. Refrains reiterate that “BITING IS FOR FOOD!” —once fabulously rhymed with “You’re not a zombie, dude!”—and that a “friend will never bite a friend” (more ideal than truth, honestly). Idle’s pencil colors are rich and soft. Some of her flat, round-headed figures show neat, inventively continuous outlines of positions that evoke stretching or movement, while others’ torsos appear motionless like oval or triangular plastic toys. The gleeful, confident patter feels no need to justify its instructions—no injuries appear, real nor imagined—and to very young readers, biting may sound like merely a manners issue (it’s “nasty” and “rude”).

Find out why people don’t bite people elsewhere; get this to summon instant rereads and loud participation. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9082-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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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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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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