A reassuring read for little ones awaiting new babies in their families.

LITTLE OWL'S EGG

Little Owl has big feelings when Mommy says there will soon be a new baby owl in their family.

Mommy wisely accommodates Little Owl’s protestations about the egg she’s laid and initiates a playful conversation about what could be in the egg besides a “new baby owl.” It could be a baby worm, or maybe chocolate, or a penguin, or even a crocodile. Little Owl objects to each idea in turn but also adds a few ideas (elephant, dragon) that Mommy rejects. The culminating idea of a “baby Princess Wormy Choco-Penguin Crocophant Dragowl” provokes laughter and ultimately prompts Little Owl to speculate that “a little owl just like me would be much more fun.” Patient, supportive Mommy agrees: “Yes….We’d love a baby owl much more than a baby anything else.” Comforted and secure, Little Owl and Mommy end the story with a scene of cozy, contented anticipation. Brown’s acrylic-and–colored-pencil illustrations do little to expand upon the straightforward text, but their soft, cartoon style matches the playful spirit of the text for this well-worn picture-book theme.

A reassuring read for little ones awaiting new babies in their families. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68119-324-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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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

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