Grandmothers with both guts and glamour are sadly underrepresented; these Glam-mas will win lots of fans. (Picture book. 3-6)

I LOVE MY GLAM-MA!

Grandmas come in all shapes, sizes, and races in this up-to-date portrait of grandmothers as young-at-heart, active participants in the lives of their grandchildren.

The story begins with an introduction to different names for grandmothers, including Abuela, Bubbe, and Oma before introducing Glam-ma—a term that may need further explanation beyond the text for some children, as “glamorous” isn’t a term in regular use by the intended audience. Different grandmas are introduced interacting with grandchildren in all sorts of activities ranging from dress-up play and cooking to karate class and attending a rock concert. The implication in the brief, bouncy text is that attitude is everything and that all these grandmothers are hip, happy, and healthy. Some of the grandmas are quite young, unusual in children’s books but a demographically realistic depiction, while others have gray or white hair (but nary a wrinkle). Characters with a wide range of skin tones are represented, including a cover illustration of a white grandma playing dress-up with her brown-skinned grandchildren. One grandmother uses a wheelchair and two use canes, though the canes don’t seem to be actually needed for support but rather for artistic effect. Bright, appealing watercolor illustrations are filled with expressive faces, lots of motion, and clever details for kids to find.

Grandmothers with both guts and glamour are sadly underrepresented; these Glam-mas will win lots of fans. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-15183-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

DONOVAN'S BIG DAY

It may be his mothers’ wedding day, but it’s Donovan’s big day in Newman’s (Heather Has Two Mommies, 1989, etc.) latest picture book about queer family life. Centered on the child’s experience and refreshingly eschewing reference to controversy, the book emerges as a celebration of not only Mommy’s and Mama’s mutual love but progress toward equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Readers, however, don't know immediately know why it is “a very BIG day” for Donovan or what the “very BIG job” is that he has to do. In his affectionate, humorous gouache paintings with digital finish, Dutton cleverly includes clues in the form of family pictures in an earlier spread set inside their home, and then a later spread shows Donovan in a suit and placing a “little white satin box that Aunt Jennifer gave him” into his pocket, hinting toward his role as ring bearer. But it’s not until the third-to-last spread that he stands with his parents and hands “one shiny gold ring to Mommy [and] one shiny gold ring to Mama.” He, of course, gets to kiss the brides on the last page, lending a happily-ever-after sensibility to the end of this story about a family's new beginning. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-332-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more