Ecce yet another picture book that shines a spotlight on the older kid who decides that it's OK for babies to be stars.


Step right up, folks, and witness…a besotted dad touting the world’s most extraordinary phenomenon—a baby.

While awestruck emcee Dad extols the baby’s amazing, never-before-witnessed talents before a live audience—accomplishments include smiling, eating a banana, and babbling—older brother grumbles “Big deal” from the cheap seats. Not to be outshone by a mere infant, he shows off what he can do: he eats two bananas simultaneously and trumps the baby talk with a song. The spectators are underwhelmed. Then the baby utters something incomprehensible, and even Dad and the audience take a breather from oohing and aahing. What can this new mouthful of gibberish mean? “Duh. So obvious,” says big brother—and translates to the wonderment of all. After that, guess who takes center stage and realizes the little tyke isn’t such a scene-stealing, attention-grabbing bore after all—plus has big plans for a new performance featuring “BROTHERS”? The story is mildly amusing with its obvious spoof of proud parents’ gushiness over everything a new baby does. Adults will get the stage shtick; little kids, not so much. This is a nice addition to the crowded field of titles about older kids cottoning to their new siblings, but except for the theater angle, it doesn’t really offer much that’s fresh. The flat, digital illustrations are lively and expressive; the characters’ large mouths will evoke smiles.

Ecce yet another picture book that shines a spotlight on the older kid who decides that it's OK for babies to be stars. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61963-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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A caregiving bear shares with its cub how love has defined their relationship from the first moment and through the years as the cub has grown.

With rhymes and a steady rhythm that are less singsong-y than similar books, Stansbie seems to have hit a sweet spot for this offering on the I-love-you-always shelf. Readers follow the adult and child as they share special moments together—a sunset, a splash in a pond, climbing a tree, a snuggle—and the adult tells the child that the love it feels has only grown. Stansbie also takes care not to put promises in the adult bear’s mouth that can’t be delivered, acknowledging that physical proximity is not always possible: “Wherever you are, / even when we’re apart… // I’ll love you forever / with all of my heart.” The large trim size helps the sweet illustrations shine; their emphasis is on the close relationship between parent and child. Shaped peekaboo windows offer glimpses of preceding and succeeding pages, images and text carefully placed to work whatever the context. While the die cuts on the interior pages will not hold up to rough handling, they do add whimsy and delight to the book as a whole: “And now that you’re bigger, / you make my heart sing. / My / beautiful / wonderful / magical / thing.” Those last three adjectives are positioned in leaf-shaped cutouts, the turn of the page revealing the roly-poly cub in a pile of leaves, three formed by the die-cuts. Opposite, three vignettes show the cub appreciating the “beautiful,” the “wonderful,” and the “magical.”

Sweet. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68412-910-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.


This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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