Excellent for stimulating creative-thinking, art, and writing activities.

INSIDE CAT

A cat gazes in wonderment at the world outside.

Wide-eyed, blue-collared, brown-and-black Inside Cat (who looks like a sinuous set of scribbles with pointy ears and large, googly eyes) peers from numerous windows in its large city dwelling. What sights there are to behold as Inside Cat leisurely, repeatedly “Wanders. Wonders” around, looking out of windows square, round, thin, wide, and otherwise diverse in shape, size, color, and/or spatial arrangement. From assorted vantage points, Inside Cat views fascinating people, objects, creatures, and activities. If Inside Cat has only a partial understanding of what it sees (“fluffy rats” are squirrels; “roaring flies” are helicopters), it fills in the scenes with imaginary details that, delightfully, appear in pale lines on the white interior walls surrounding the windows. Inside Cat explores the world via window on every floor of its house so regularly that it knows all there is to know about the world inside and out. But…don’t be surprised when the final, full-color page leaves you breathless—as it does our protagonist; one wonders why this feline remained indoors so long. This delicious charmer, told in simple, rhythmically lilting verse as light-footed as a cat, develops vocabulary and reinforces basic concepts like shape and size, directional and spatial relationships. The wonderful, loose illustrations were created with mixed media, each employed expertly to delineate the varied perspectives presented all at one time.

Excellent for stimulating creative-thinking, art, and writing activities. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7319-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

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

Did you like this book?

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more