Whether used as beginning prayers or to teach an attitude of gratitude, this lovely title and its companion do their parts...

TINY BLESSINGS FOR BEDTIME

From the Tiny Blessings series

Thick pages, a padded cover, and simple text ensure that this board book will survive a toddler's daily mindfulness practice.

Parents wanting to help their children establish the practice of gratitude and mindfulness will find gentle examples in this and its companion volume, Tiny Blessings for Giving Thanks. Simple, direct sentences address an unspecified “You,” leaving readers free to fill in the blank (Mother Earth, Great Spirit, God, Shakti, Shiva, Kali, Consciousness, Creator, etc.) depending on each family’s belief system. Bedtime evokes nighttime icons—the twinkling stars, a shimmery moon, tender goodnight kisses, and peaceful rest are listed. Giving Thanks starts with “Thank you for this great, big world” before moving to less abstract images that children will easily recognize. Parker's rhyming text is reminiscent of scripture and meditation guides, and it flows smoothly, but with just five page turns it won't burden beginning practitioners. Walsh's art, a sweet mix of collage and greeting-card whimsy, invites a closer look. The smiling children portrayed in a satisfying mix of skin tones model wonderment, joy, and contentment, while the brown-skinned mother in this volume and the white father in Giving Thanks epitomize loving concern.

Whether used as beginning prayers or to teach an attitude of gratitude, this lovely title and its companion do their parts to start mindfulness in the cradle. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-5990-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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A wonderfully charming tale of family and sisters that anyone can bond with.

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SISTERS

Two sisters who are constantly at odds take a family road trip that covers more ground—both literally and figuratively—than they expect.

After begging her parents for a sister, Raina gets more than she bargained for once Amara is born. From the moment she was brought home, Amara hasn’t been quite the cuddly playmate that Raina had hoped. As the years pass, the girls bicker constantly and apparently couldn’t be more unalike: Raina spends her time indoors underneath her headphones, and Amara loves animals and the outdoors. The girls, their mother and their little brother all pack up to drive to a family reunion, and it seems like the trip’s just going to be more of the same, with the girls incessantly picking on each other all the way from San Francisco to Colorado. However, when the trip doesn’t go quite as planned—for a number of reasons—the girls manage to find some common ground. Told in then-and-now narratives that are easily discernable in the graphic format, Telgemeier’s tale is laugh-out-loud funny (especially the story about the snake incident) and quietly serious all at once. Her rounded, buoyant art coupled with a masterful capacity for facial expressions complements the writing perfectly. Fans of her previous books Smile (2010) and Drama (2012) shouldn’t miss this one; it’s a winner.

A wonderfully charming tale of family and sisters that anyone can bond with. (Graphic memoir. 7-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-54059-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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