A fine addition to the extended family of new-baby books, with a welcome nod to the middle child.

BIG BROTHERS DON'T TAKE NAPS

Little brother Nicholas adores big brother James, who serves as a great role model in this story about a loving, and expanding, family.

Nicholas anticipates the day when he won’t have to take naps, and he sees lots of other positive things about growing up as he witnesses James go to school, read, type on Dad’s computer, etc. James is an ideal older sibling: protective, supportive, patient and kind. Together, they look forward to a “special secret” in June, which readers may well figure out before book’s end. The biggest clue comes with James and Nicholas hunched over a sheet of paper covered in girls’ names scrawled in childish handwriting. Nicholas reports, “…my big brother lets me draw the circle around the one we like best.” Closing endpapers reveal that their chosen name is Grace, where their new baby sister’s name is circled and serves as a satisfying conclusion to this sweet family story. Throughout, Dodd’s digital art employs bold line and vibrant color, rendering playful illustrations that match the text’s tone and recall Lauren Child’s and Ken Wilson-Max’s illustration styles.

A fine addition to the extended family of new-baby books, with a welcome nod to the middle child. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-5503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011

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A particularly soppy, sloppy addition to an already-overstuffed genre.

I LOVE YOU MORE AND MORE

A bear cub gets a load of lyrical loving from a lumbering parent in this nature walk.

Expressed in stumbling rhyme—“I love you more than trees / love to change with every season. / I love you more than anything. / I cannot name just one reason”—Benson’s perfervid sentiments accompany scenes of bear and cub strolling through stands of birch, splashing into a river to watch (just watch) fish, and, in a final moonlit scene, cuddling beneath starry skies. Foxes, otters, and other animal parents and offspring, likewise adoring, make foreground cameos along the way in Lambert’s neatly composed paper-collage–style illustrations. Since the bears are obvious stand-ins for humans (the cub even points at things and in most views is posed on two legs), the gender ambiguity in both writing and art allow human readers some latitude in drawing personal connections, but that’s not enough to distinguish this uninspired effort among the teeming swarm of “I Love You This Much!” titles.

A particularly soppy, sloppy addition to an already-overstuffed genre. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68010-022-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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An ideal choice for sharing with preschoolers and anyone else who has a soft spot for lovable but goofy dads.

WHEN DADS DON'T GROW UP

Here is an unabashed celebration of dads who enthusiastically embrace their inner children. The results are endearing, sometimes embarrassing but most often hilarious.

Parker invites readers to witness the following silly behavior: “When dads don’t grow up / they understand that shopping carts are for racing… / that clothes don’t have to match… / and that pancakes weren't meant to be round.” Alley uses pen and ink, watercolors and colored pencil to show an abundance of humorous details in a series of vignettes that greatly extend the text. A stern grocery-store manager glares at dad and daughter sitting in the wreckage of their shopping-cart race; a professorial dad lectures in a mad combination of stripes, argyle and plaid. Preschoolers will see themselves and, one hopes, their fathers in the madcap situations that populate this title. Whether finding fun in popping bubble wrap, throwing stones in water, playing sports indoors or “getting their hair wet (if they still have any),” the four ethnically and occupationally diverse dads—a florist, a doctor, a businessman and a construction worker—obviously relish these experiences as much as their children do.

An ideal choice for sharing with preschoolers and anyone else who has a soft spot for lovable but goofy dads. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3717-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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