SON

From the Family Love series

A parent’s love letter to a young son.

The second-person narration of the text (translated from Spanish) reads as though it is spoken by one parent to the singular, eponymous son, but the accompanying illustrations expand this reading. Different children are shown from spread to spread as the text offers encouraging words aimed at telling the son “all about this world.” After opening with lyrical descriptions of the real world—“a sky in which there are more stars than grains of sand”—both illustrations and text veer toward the fantastic or metaphorical. “If you put one foot in front of the other, you’ll be able to walk all the way around the world” reads a page depicting a White-appearing child literally walking around the circumference of the globe, which is ringed with buildings and statues representing different nations and cultures. The ensuing pages suggest that this journey is symbolic, with some roads “smooth” and others “rocky,” and “behind the rocks, there are sometimes dragons.” Ultimately, the interaction between the art and text delivers neither a cohesive story nor a clear message. Instead, the colorful art lurches between fantastic and realistic scenes while the text conveys parental love and support without offering readers a clear narrative thread to follow from page to page.

Well-meaning and muddled. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-84-18302-17-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cuento de Luz

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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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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Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age.

THE THANKFUL BOOK

Parr focuses his simplistic childlike art and declarative sentences on gratitude for the pleasures and wonders of a child’s everyday life.

Using images of both kids and animals, each colorful scene in bold primary colors declaims a reason to be thankful. “I am thankful for my hair because it makes me unique” shows a yellow-faced child with a wild purple coiffure, indicating self-esteem. An elephant with large pink ears happily exclaims, “I am thankful for my ears because they let me hear words like ‘I love you.’ ” Humor is interjected with, “I am thankful for underwear because I like to wear it on my head.” (Parents will hope that it is clean, but potty-humor–loving children probably won’t care.) Children are encouraged to be thankful for feet, music, school, vacations and the library, “because it is filled with endless adventures,” among other things. The book’s cheery, upbeat message is clearly meant to inspire optimistic gratitude; Parr exhorts children to “remember some [things to be thankful for] every day.”

Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-18101-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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