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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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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It’s pretty, but it falls far short of authenticity.

THE TALE OF THE TIGER SLIPPERS

A retelling of a Persian folktale substituting tigers for people.

A tiger cub lives in a stately home built by its father. In the center of the vast gardens there is a fountain that, to the surprise of the tiger cub’s friends, contains a pair of worn-out slippers. When the cub’s friends ask why the slippers are there, the tiger’s father explains that when he was younger, he and his mother were impoverished. His mother—the tiger cub’s grandmother—made the slippers for him as an act of love. As the tiger grew older, wealthier, and more successful, he was repeatedly told that his worn, old slippers were not appropriate for his new station in life. Although he agreed, no matter how many times he tried to get rid of his slippers, they always managed to find a way back to him. Eventually, the tiger’s uncle helps him find a way to keep his slippers—and his memories of his past—without sacrificing his future. Done in Brett’s signature, paneled style, the book’s illustrations, while vibrant, read more like Western picture-book illustrations than the Mughal miniature style the author claims as her inspiration. Furthermore, although they are beautifully detailed, at times, the number of panels makes the pages feel crowded. The text is well paced, but Brett’s choice to retell the folktale using animals instead of people comes across as exoticizing at a time when the current Indian government is systematically erasing Muslim, particularly Mughal, history.

It’s pretty, but it falls far short of authenticity. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-17074-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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