This is no helicopter mom, and things turn out just fine. Sure to connect with children in many ways—the adventure of...

BECAUSE YOUR MOMMY LOVES YOU

Clements and Alley reunite to produce a strong companion title to Because Your Daddy Loves You (2005).

Mommy and her son are off to camp at White Mountain National Forest, but first they need supplies. When the boy gets lost in the store, he calls out to his mother. His “mommy could say, / It’s all right, I’m coming to find you! / But she doesn’t. // She calls your name, / and you follow the sound of her voice. // When you find her, you get a big hug— / after you promise not to wander off again.” And so the challenging situations continue as they climb the steep mountain with heavy backpacks, cross a somewhat scary log bridge, put up their tent and roast marshmallows instead of burn them. Along the way mom could step in and take over or make things easier for her son, “But she doesn’t.” With great patience, gentle encouragement and firm direction, she guides her son through these various life lessons to foster self-confidence and independence. The ink, watercolor and acrylic illustrations deftly capture the boy’s apprehensions and resultant pride at his accomplishments.

This is no helicopter mom, and things turn out just fine. Sure to connect with children in many ways—the adventure of camping, learning how to do things all by oneself and conquering initial anxieties. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-25522-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling—and to tales of traditional enemies overcoming their history.

THE SCARECROW

Ferry and the Fans portray a popular seasonal character’s unlikely friendship.

Initially, the protagonist is shown in his solitary world: “Scarecrow stands alone and scares / the fox and deer, / the mice and crows. / It’s all he does. It’s all he knows.” His presence is effective; the animals stay outside the fenced-in fields, but the omniscient narrator laments the character’s lack of friends or places to go. Everything changes when a baby crow falls nearby. Breaking his pole so he can bend, the scarecrow picks it up, placing the creature in the bib of his overalls while singing a lullaby. Both abandon natural tendencies until the crow learns to fly—and thus departs. The aabb rhyme scheme flows reasonably well, propelling the narrative through fall, winter, and spring, when the mature crow returns with a mate to build a nest in the overalls bib that once was his home. The Fan brothers capture the emotional tenor of the seasons and the main character in their panoramic pencil, ballpoint, and digital compositions. Particularly poignant is the close-up of the scarecrow’s burlap face, his stitched mouth and leaf-rimmed head conveying such sadness after his companion goes. Some adults may wonder why the scarecrow seems to have only partial agency, but children will be tuned into the problem, gratified by the resolution.

A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling—and to tales of traditional enemies overcoming their history. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-247576-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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