A good pick for reading aloud at any time of day.

GOOD MORNING, HARRY—GOOD NIGHT, DADDY

A split narrative follows Harry and his daddy through their days and nights.

Daddy is just heading out to start his workday when Harry comes home at the end of the day with Gran. While Daddy helps travelers settle into the sleeping cars on the London-Penzance train, where he works as a conductor, Harry’s mother and grandmother care for him and his baby brother. Although Daddy is apart from them, he’s very much present in their routines and surroundings. Family photos include Daddy, the boys reference trains in their play, and at dinner, “Harry helps Baby open wide for mushy peas. Chug–chug–chug. Here comes the train.” Parts of the text adopt a rhythmic, rhyming cadence that adds a lyrical quality to an oral reading: “Whoo-who sings the train, rocking on its way. / ‘Coo-coo,’ says Baby, wishing he could play.” Movement in and out of this style keeps the text light and nimble in its use of poetic conventions. Watercolor-and-ink illustrations are warm in their palette and in their expressions of affection among the family members, especially when Daddy returns in the morning at the end of his shift, just as Harry and the others begin their day. The whole family appears white with light skin and reddish-brown hair.

A good pick for reading aloud at any time of day. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: April 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5450-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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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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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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