Wonder-filled and delightful.

CITY MOON

A mother and child search for the moon on an evening walk in the city.

In the early fall darkness, mom and little one put on their pajamas, coats, and shoes and head out into the neighborhood to find the moon. Sometimes it hides behind buildings or clouds. Sometimes it is only seen as a reflection in a puddle. The child narrator is filled with curiosity and wonder, working to understand what they are seeing and not seeing. The narrator asks questions, Mama answers simply, and her child inhales the information; they are in perfect harmony. “Oh, stars.” “Oh…a reflection.” The street is filled with sights and sounds, but they are the only moon-hunters. Cole’s syntax is spot-on, clear, descriptive, and filled with lovely images. Gómez’s digitally rendered, double-page spreads capture the city neighborhood in evening tones of brown, navy, and dark green with illumination from street lights, apartment windows, and, of course, the elusive moon. There are charming vignettes of people of diverse skin tones, in their apartments or passing by on foot or on bikes, busy with their own lives. The white, redheaded mother and child move through the pages always touching, intense in their quest and sure of their love. This bedtime story will have little readers begging to explore it again and again.

Wonder-filled and delightful. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-553-49707-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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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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Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby.

BABY GOES TO MARKET

Baby is so charming that various vendors in this West African market gift him all sorts of yummies.

Baby rides on Mama’s back, held snug by a bright cloth wrap. Mama navigates the busy, colorful outdoor market, her woven basket balanced on her head. The text unrolls rhythmically in Atinuke’s storyteller’s voice: “Market is very crowded. Baby is very curious. Baby is so curious that Mrs. Ade, the banana seller, gives Baby six bananas.” Baby eats one and puts the remaining bananas in Mama’s basket. All the while Mama shops, unbeknownst to her, vendors continue to respond to Baby’s transparent delight with five oranges, four “sugary chin-chin biscuits,” three “roasted sweet corn,” and two pieces of coconut. With each delicacy given, Baby eats one and puts the rest in the basket. When Mama sees all the extra foodstuffs she didn’t buy, she’s concerned, until the vendors reassure her: “We gave those things to Baby!” In her debut picture book, Brooksbank offers bright, bustling tableaux of shoppers, vendors, and goods. The smiling, all-black cast sort through myriad wares, while the text keeps up its rhythm, introducing both typical items bought in a West African market and a gentle lesson in arithmetic as Baby alternately snacks on and stashes his gifts.

Indeed, no one will be able to resist this baby. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9570-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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