A beautifully illustrated, uplifting tribute to Black girls and to the mothers who love them boundlessly.

DREAMS FOR A DAUGHTER

A Black mother’s wishes and dreams for her lively, bright-eyed, growing daughter.

Brought to life by Pinkney’s now-signature brushy, colorful illustrations with bold ink lines, this lyrical expression of hope opens with a mother holding her baby while the two gaze into each other’s eyes. The mother sees the ancestors looking back at her when she looks at her child. Impressed by her baby’s curiosity, the mother continues to support, love, and encourage her daughter as she takes her first steps, learns to bike, starts school, learns to read, and more. As the daughter develops strong self-confidence, the mother exhorts her to stand by her ideas and always speak truth. The mother expects her child to travel the world, and as she does so, to show kindness to others. The lines that often swirl around this brown-skinned girl suggest that she stays in perpetual motion, and the prominence of yellows, oranges, and reds that often accompany her image hint at her sunny disposition and positivity. When the mother can’t watch over her daughter, she is “trusting God / to keep Her eyes / on you.” In this illustration, a rayed, yellow celestial face with African features could be the sun or the mother or God—possibilities that may bring up interesting conversations about the worldview portrayed in this book. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 30.9% of actual size.)

A beautifully illustrated, uplifting tribute to Black girls and to the mothers who love them boundlessly. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5198-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 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?

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

BABY GOES TO MARKET

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more