A rowdy, raucous return for Niño and a dazzling debut for his most worthy rivals.



Pint-sized luchador Niño captured readers’ imaginations in the Pura Belpré Award–winning title Niño Wrestles the World (2014). Now he is back, but this time his baby sisters, Las Hermanitas, have come to steal the show.

Childlike drawings on the opening endpapers explain that luchadores are divided into two categories: técnicos (good guys) and rudos (bad guys). Las Hermanitas are definitely rudas. Niño is playing with some familiar characters, El Extraterrestre and La Llorona, when Las Hermanitas burst onto the scene and the rumble begins. They take on their opponents one by one and use whatever rotten means necessary to crush the competition, starting right off with a move called the Poopy Bomb Blowout. The action and humor continue until only Niño can bring an end to his little sisters’ destruction. This follow-up uses the same playful, graphic illustration style and vibrant color palette seen in the original. Several Spanish words and phrases appear in the callouts and speech bubbles, many of which are defined in the closing endpaper illustrations. The English text is peppered with alliteration, onomatopoeia, and a few words that will stretch young readers’ growing vocabulary (such as “phenomenal” and “preposterous”). The overall effect is a narrative that begs to be read aloud.

A rowdy, raucous return for Niño and a dazzling debut for his most worthy rivals. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62672-240-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.


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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Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby.


Baby is so charming that various vendors in this West African market gift him all sorts of yummies.

Baby rides on Mama’s back, held snug by a bright cloth wrap. Mama navigates the busy, colorful outdoor market, her woven basket balanced on her head. The text unrolls rhythmically in Atinuke’s storyteller’s voice: “Market is very crowded. Baby is very curious. Baby is so curious that Mrs. Ade, the banana seller, gives Baby six bananas.” Baby eats one and puts the remaining bananas in Mama’s basket. All the while Mama shops, unbeknownst to her, vendors continue to respond to Baby’s transparent delight with five oranges, four “sugary chin-chin biscuits,” three “roasted sweet corn,” and two pieces of coconut. With each delicacy given, Baby eats one and puts the rest in the basket. When Mama sees all the extra foodstuffs she didn’t buy, she’s concerned, until the vendors reassure her: “We gave those things to Baby!” In her debut picture book, Brooksbank offers bright, bustling tableaux of shoppers, vendors, and goods. The smiling, all-black cast sort through myriad wares, while the text keeps up its rhythm, introducing both typical items bought in a West African market and a gentle lesson in arithmetic as Baby alternately snacks on and stashes his gifts.

Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9570-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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