Zippy, vibrant, and fun…a delightfully gooey romp for young readers.

TOO MUCH SLIME!

What’s to be done when green slime overruns everything?

A bright green slime takes over in this slapstick picture book with strong visual appeal for readers in preschool through second grade. The vibrance of the slime and the characters who confront it pop against the black-and-white line-drawn backgrounds that evoke the style of the 1960s. As this playful book opens, a Black-presenting sibling team hears a “thwack”—or maybe a “blerb”—on the door, which also displays a small green blob smudged against the window. Against their better judgment, they open the door to the intrusive goo, which immediately takes over their living room, bathtub, and bed. It’s not long before the troublesome gunk has oozed its way into the street and down to soccer practice before barreling through a PTA meeting. As the slime takes over the school’s library, gym, and science lab, the whole diverse community steps in to help. Gilbert’s understated text doesn’t bother trying to explain the origin of the slime, instead reveling in the chaos it creates. Children will love sounding out the onomatopoeia, often rendered in an appropriately gloppy hand: “Zlerk! PHLAP! SQUERCH!” Fans of Billy Bloo Is Stuck in Goo, by Jennifer Hamburg and illustrated by Ross Burach (2017), or On Account of the Gum, by Adam Rex (2020), will enjoy this lively adventure.

Zippy, vibrant, and fun…a delightfully gooey romp for young readers. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30357-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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Preachy and predictable.

RUBYLICIOUS

From the Pinkalicious series

Pinkalicious is excited to add the 100th rock to her rock collection.

Her brother, Peter, is not impressed. He thinks the rock looks dirty and that it isn’t special at all. When the siblings try to rub the rock clean, though, something wonderful happens: A magical figure emerges in a cloud of red smoke. Rather than ask her name, Pinkalicious and Peter tell her they will call her Rocky. Rocky accepts the new name and nervously says that she can grant the children a wish. But every time the sister and brother make a wish, Rocky initially grants it and then talks them out of it. When Peter and Pinkalicious wish for a gigantic mountain of sweets, for instance, a timorous Rocky shows them how eating so much sugar harms their bodies. When the children wish that they could fly, Rocky shows them how dangerous flying can be. When they wish to live in a castle, Rocky gives them a palace that is too large and cold to be any fun. In the end, Pinkalicious and Peter decide that the best wish they can make isn’t for themselves but for Rocky—a decision that leads to even more magical results. This latest series installment underwhelms. In addition to the arbitrary plot and wooden dialogue, Pinkalicious and Peter come across as maddeningly entitled. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Preachy and predictable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-305521-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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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

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