Superbly splashy, immersive, and effervescent.

BUBBLES…UP!

A swimming pool and a young swimmer create watery magic together.

Davies’ lighthearted, lively bit of poetry describes the singular joy of an afternoon at the neighborhood pool in this celebration of underwater swimming and splashing. “PLUNGE! / under / under / under,” reads the text as a child with black hair and light brown skin and a colorfully striped one-piece bathing suit dives and floats and soars underwater. “Bubbles…UP!” A younger, lighter-skinned little person wearing floaties and orange swim trunks stays by the poolside with an adult while a crowd of children with many different hair types and colors of skin splashes and shouts in the pool. Sánchez’s illustrations capture the way sunlight ripples through water over blue-patterned tiles and convey the blissful freedom of weightlessness, diving to the bottom of an imaginary ocean world and rocketing to the top amid bubbles. A brief thundershower clears the pool, and everyone huddles near the snack bar—but when the all-clear sounds, it’s back to the water. There’s a dramatic rescue of a rubber duck: “You are fast…/ —aqueous— / A watery dolphin, all flash and fin.” There’s cuddling—for a moment—in a towel after, and then back to the water, where the smaller child joins in the fun at last. The exuberant sense of being purely in the moment is delightful. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 19% of actual size.)

Superbly splashy, immersive, and effervescent. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-283661-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 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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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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