A fresh perspective on a cyclical topic.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A COAT?

Seasonal changes—and outfit changes, too.

As children fling open their doors to run outside, the titular question comes to mind: “Do I have to wear a coat?” Laid out in a similar style to those in Isadora’s previous musing on the senses, I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) (2016), various vignettes of diverse tots explore spring, summer, fall, and winter. Each season is opened with a picture of the same pigtailed white youngster and a dog looking at a tree. As the seasons change, readers see differences to the leaves and changes to the child’s clothing. Spring brings flowers, baseball games, sidewalk chalk, and raincoats. Summer brings ice cream, fireflies, sand castles, and no coats at all! In the fall, sweaters are warm and cozy accompaniments for hayrides, jumping into leaf piles, and apple picking. Winter, the coat-iest season, brings snow angels, frosty air, steamy hot chocolate, and of course, bundles and bundles of coats! Isadora explores the seasons not only through outerwear, but also activities that are intimate and familiar to those who experience these seasons. Vignettes include racially diverse children; two kids in sports wheelchairs play tennis, and an amputee on crutches plays soccer. Children will feel each season deeply, with or without their coats!

A fresh perspective on a cyclical topic. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-51660-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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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 cozy read for bibliophiles.

SNOWMAN'S STORY

With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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