Sweet and inclusive, perfect for any family.

FEDERICO AND ALL HIS FAMILIES

In this Spanish import, Federico the cat spends his days going from one home to another, always welcome by his many families.  

In the morning, Federico has breakfast with Anne and Sam and their two moms. “He loves yogurt.” As the day progresses, he “cleans his whiskers” at the home of a white mom and dad (dad has trendy blue hair) and their three children—a black child, an Asian child, and a white, redheaded child. Then, he accompanies a dad and daughter to catch the school bus. Later, Federico rocks the crib of baby Paula as her two dads—one white, one black—look on. Later yet, Federico visits Tadeo, who “lives with his grandparents.” There, he “loves playing with the balls of wool while grandma Margaret knits.” At night, Federico listens in as “Nick, his mom and their cat Frida read a book.” By focusing on Federico and his activities, and presenting the families in a simple and matter-of-fact way, the book neatly avoids being preachy. The humorous and expressive illustrations carry as much weight as the text, for it is in the illustrations that readers see the racial composition of the different families, while also inviting readers to reach their own conclusions, for example: Are some single-parent families? Adopted families? The original Spanish text, Federico y sus familias, publishes simultaneously.

Sweet and inclusive, perfect for any family. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-84-17673-56-7

Page Count: 18

Publisher: nubeOCHO

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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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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