Entertaining and amusing, if not particularly groundbreaking.

NAUGHTY CLAUDINE'S CHRISTMAS

A little girl named Claudine tries to misbehave just before Christmas so that Santa won’t come into her house to deliver presents on Christmas Eve.

Claudine doesn’t like the idea of Santa watching her and determining if she is naughty or nice. She also doesn’t “want Santa to break into her home.” So she decides to act up in the days before Christmas so that Santa will skip her house, although her older sister claims he will still come since she is well-behaved. Claudine’s minor mischief includes squirting toothpaste all over the bathroom, tracking pink paint footprints on the floor, and blowing her nose on her mother’s skirt. On Christmas morning there are no presents under the tree for either sister, but Claudine finds all the family’s presents on the front porch with a note from Santa. Claudine, her family, and Santa are white; some of the children waiting in line to see Santa are other ethnicities. The plot isn’t especially original, and it isn’t believable that a child of Claudine’s age (around 6) would want to forego Christmas presents rather than have Santa deliver them. Appealing illustrations have a retro, 1960s vibe with skirts on the female characters and a record player in Claudine’s room. The composition of the illustrations and the overall design are attractive and polished.

Entertaining and amusing, if not particularly groundbreaking. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93734-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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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 visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts.

ONE FAMILY

A playful counting book also acts as a celebration of family and human diversity.

Shannon’s text is delivered in spare, rhythmic, lilting verse that begins with one and counts up to 10 as it presents different groupings of things and people in individual families, always emphasizing the unitary nature of each combination. “One is six. One line of laundry. One butterfly’s legs. One family.” Gomez’s richly colored pictures clarify and expand on all that the text lists: For “six,” a picture showing six members of a multigenerational family of color includes a line of laundry with six items hanging from it outside of their windows, as well as the painting of a six-legged butterfly that a child in the family is creating. While text never directs the art to depict diverse individuals and family constellations, Gomez does just this in her illustrations. Interracial families are included, as are depictions of men with their arms around each other, and a Sikh man wearing a turban. This inclusive spirit supports the text’s culminating assertion that “One is one and everyone. One earth. One world. One family.”

A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30003-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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