Move over, Goodnight Moon. There’s a new star on the bedtime bookshelf.

GOOD NIGHT LIKE THIS

From the ...Like This series

The third entry in Murphy’s ...Like This series explores the nighttime world of animal parents and babies settling down for sleep.

Each double-page spread shows a different adult-baby animal pair (or grouping of several youngsters) in its own outdoor environment. The adult-baby pairs or groups clearly convey deep attachment, but the pairings are not specified as mother-child, so the book is equally meaningful for dads or grandparents or caregivers to read to their favorite little ones. The patterned text offers a few descriptive words in a rhyming couplet followed by a simple “good night, sleep tight” wish. A cleverly designed half-page flap then turns to show the animals sleeping “like this.” A tiny animal or insect pops up on these sleepy pages with a white speech balloon offering a cheery “Good night!” These little critters are also skillfully camouflaged on the full-page illustration the flap lies over, providing an additional layer of interest as readers look back to spot the hiding places. Vibrant illustrations use a glowing palette of golds and purples, swirling lines, and Murphy’s signature thick, black outlines to create an evocative atmosphere of deepening twilight. This is a bedtime story that has it all: humor, playful language, and a soothing combination of rhyme, rhythm, and repetition woven together with compelling illustrations that have the surrealistic edge of the dream world.

Move over, Goodnight Moon. There’s a new star on the bedtime bookshelf. (Picture book. 1-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7970-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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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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