Simple, true-to-life, and fun.

I'M THE BOSS!

Little Lulu thinks they are the boss in this French Canadian import translated by Simard.

“Your job is to give me everything I ask for, okay?” says the tiny, ruffle-eared blue blob of a monster to a larger red blob of a monster, apparently a caregiver. Their first demand is for “a cake with lots of candy on top,” which the grown-up monster flatly turns down. Lulu then demands a garbage truck and permission to drive it…also a no. The things she orders her grown-up to supply—only to be denied each time—grow increasingly ludicrous: a dinosaur egg with a baby dino in it, a fire-breathing robot, a real-life airplane, and even a chocolate castle. For each desired object, Lulu is careful to specify that they want “a big one! Right now!’” Finally, the little scamp bursts into tears: “It’s not FAIR! You always say NO! I’m SAD. I want a HUG.” This time the response from the big red monster, though familiar, is not the same: “A big one? Right now?” Caregivers of little ones will definitely see their headstrong charges in Lulu (even if the little tyrants don’t see themselves). The tale is told entirely in dialogue, and the histrionic, imperious refrain will make for a fun read-aloud. Gravel’s signature heavily lined cartoon illustrations are bright, minimalist, and representational. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Simple, true-to-life, and fun. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4598-3296-1

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022

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Cute, harmless, and unlikely to achieve classic status.

I BELIEVE IN BUNNYCORNS

Copious amounts of glitter and rainbows and a die-cut rainbow flower add a bit of interest to this celebration of the titular one-horned bunnies.

With simple, rhyming text and high-contrast, neon illustrations, this book is like cotton candy for the eyes and ears. Like that sugary confection, it’s sweet—arguably, too much so. “We’re going on a bunny hunt / to find the bunnycorns. / We follow trails of sparkle dust / and look for shiny horns! // We’ll find them in the places / where candy carrots grow. / I CAN SEE A BUNNYCORN! / Let’s go and say hello!” As the claims about the bunnycorns grow more extravagant, the artwork explodes in garish bursts of color. As for the aforementioned die-cut flower, it starts as a large cutout on the front cover of the book, becoming progressively smaller through each successive page, till it ends as a glittery, yellow single flower on the second-to-last double-page spread. In the denouement that follows, the narrative voice breaks the literary fourth wall: “If you believe in bunnycorns, / then they’ll believe in you. / ’Cause bunnycorns are special, / and baby, YOU are too!” The use of bunnies, of course, constitutes a radical departure from author McLean and illustrator Le Tandé’s 2019 opus, I Love My Llamacorn.

Cute, harmless, and unlikely to achieve classic status. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12643-1

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end.

BYE-BYE BINKY

From the Big Kid Power series

This book seeks to use the power of persuasion to vanquish that most formidable of opponents: toddlers.

In this entry in the Big Kid Power series, a little black girl makes no bones about the fact that pacifiers (or “binkies”) are strictly baby territory. When she was little she needed one, but that was then. Whether she’s tired, sad, or hungry, there are other ways of being comforted: hugs and polite requests, for instance. After she gives her binky to a baby and bids it a very clear goodbye, the book ends with a triumphant, “I’M A BIG KID!” Using a striking color combination of orange, brown, and black, van Lieshout keeps her pages bold and bright, complementing the simple vocabulary. Such declarations as, “Do I still have a binky? // NO, BIG KIDS DON’T NEED A BINKY. / NOPE!” leave scant wiggle room for argument. In her author’s note at the end, van Lieshout says that after speaking to many parents about how they helped their kids bid their pacifiers adieu, “many of them had in common…a ritual of some sort.” The ritual here seems to be giving the pacifier away, though it may be missed by many readers. Companion title I Use the Potty uses a similar approach, with a proud, white boy as its guide.

Simple words and big concepts will make this a godsend to parents at their wit's end. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3536-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

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