While some families may “come from” adoption, babies simply do not come from airports.

BABIES COME FROM AIRPORTS

A celebration of a multiracial family formed through international adoption.

First-person, rhyming text in the voice of Adar, a black adoptee from Ethiopia (as indicated by a flag on his “Gotcha Day” scrapbook), shares his anticipation of his mother’s arrival at the airport with his new baby sister, while Adar’s big brother, Nico, helps him recall his own arrival at the airport with their mother. A cartoon aesthetic incorporates environmental print and other details to reveal that this baby girl was born in China. The text doesn’t share whether Nico is an adoptee; he has light-brown skin and dark, straight hair, while their mother has a similar skin tone and brown, curly hair. Their father’s light skin and curly, dark-blond hair make him seem white. He’s depicted as a rather hapless parent, with various mishaps recorded by the boys’ pictures drawn for their mother during her absence. While their reunion with mother and baby is a joyful one at the airport, the central premise that “babies come from airports” erases birth parents in the adoption triad. This grave misstep frames adoption as a wholly joyful phenomenon of adoptive parents and kids in a mutual, exclusive “gotcha,” thus ignoring its inherent losses and complexities.

While some families may “come from” adoption, babies simply do not come from airports. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61067-557-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Fun enough once through, but not much more.

THE SPAGHETTI-SLURPING SEWER SERPENT

A pint-sized sleuth tracks a purple underground monster.

When Mom scrapes the family's uneaten spaghetti into the sink, young Sammy Sanders hears strange slurping sounds. He becomes "77 percent convinced" that a spaghetti-slurping serpent lives in his sewer, and can't get to sleep. The next morning, Sammy and his little sister Sally investigate. There are meatballs and strands of limp spaghetti around the manhole cover! Sammy, whose round glasses make the whites of his eyes look as enormous as an owl's, can barely contain his excitement. After he removes the cover, Sally slips on some sauce and lands in the sewer, becoming a smelly sludgy mess. Sammy's left to investigate alone and comes up with a brilliant idea. Late that night, he sneaks out of the house with a salty snack for himself and a bowl of spaghetti for the serpent. But he falls asleep, and the huge serpent slithers up to the scrumptious spaghetti. Slurping sounds startle Sammy awake; he's face-to-face with the monster. There's just one thing to do: Share! Sammy' salty snack earns him a friend for life. And that night, he sleeps soundly, 100% sure that there's a serpent in his sewer. Zenz's illustrations, in Prismacolor colored pencil, look generic, but Ripes' yarn has pace and phonetic crackle.

Fun enough once through, but not much more.    (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7614-6101-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Feb. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Mixed-race children certainly deserve mirror books, but they also deserve excellent text and illustrations. This one misses...

BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL, STRONG LITTLE ME!

This tan-skinned, freckle-faced narrator extols her own virtues while describing the challenges of being of mixed race.

Protagonist Lilly appears on the cover, and her voluminous curly, twirly hair fills the image. Throughout the rhyming narrative, accompanied by cartoonish digital illustrations, Lilly brags on her dark skin (that isn’t very), “frizzy, wild” hair, eyebrows, intellect, and more. Her five friends present black, Asian, white (one blonde, one redheaded), and brown (this last uses a wheelchair). This array smacks of tokenism, since the protagonist focuses only on self-promotion, leaving no room for the friends’ character development. Lilly describes how hurtful racial microaggressions can be by recalling questions others ask her like “What are you?” She remains resilient and says that even though her skin and hair make her different, “the way that I look / Is not all I’m about.” But she spends so much time talking about her appearance that this may be hard for readers to believe. The rhyming verse that conveys her self-celebration is often clumsy and forced, resulting in a poorly written, plotless story for which the internal illustrations fall far short of the quality of the cover image.

Mixed-race children certainly deserve mirror books, but they also deserve excellent text and illustrations. This one misses the mark on both counts. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63233-170-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eifrig

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more