Readers may wish they had wings, too. What fun! (Picture book. 3-6)


When the lights are out and everyone is asleep, baby Tessa takes flight—literally!

In this whimsical tale, a wee baby with wispy dark hair and just two little teeth lies in her crib asking to be picked up. But no one does. Her older sister lies asleep near her, the lights are out, and the moon is shining. “Goody, she thinks and jumps up herself”: Wings have sprouted on her back, and Tessa takes flight, tumbling through the air head over heels, up, up, and away from her crib. Clearly, it’s not her first time, and she loves it. She plays with toys, spins a red-and-white umbrella that becomes another instrument of flight, and shares books with Bingo the dog. As dawn nears and Bingo’s thump-thumping tail knocks the blocks over, Tessa knows it’s time to tidy up and get back to her crib. As the family’s day starts, the text plays with the word “up”: “Daddy lifts her up,” then “everyone is up,” she’s “up in her high chair,” “up on daddy’s shoulders,” and “up high in Mama’s arms.” If only they knew how high up Tessa can really go! The book ends as Tessa takes flight again when everyone is napping. The delightful watercolor-and–colored-pencil illustrations are as whimsical as the story and equally filled with movement. Tessa and her sister both have pale skin and dark hair; Mama has light-brown skin and black hair, while Daddy presents white, suggesting a mixed-race family.

Readers may wish they had wings, too. What fun! (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-439-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.


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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Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration.


Children point out the things they love about their fathers.

“Daddy is always kind. He gives us support and shelter when things go wrong.” A child with a skinned knee (and downed ice cream cone) gets a bandage and loving pat from Daddy (no shelter is visible, but the child’s concerned sibling sweetly extends their own cone). Daddy’s a storyteller, a magician, supportive, loyal, silly, patient, and he knows everything. A die-cut hole pierces most pages, positioned so that the increasingly smaller holes to come can be seen through it; what it represents in each scene varies, and it does so with also-variable success. The bland, nonrhyming, inconsistent text does little to attract or keep attention, though the die cuts might (until they fall victim to curious fingers). The text also confusingly mixes first-person singular and plural, sometimes on the same page: “Daddy is like a gardener. He lovingly cares for us and watches us grow. I’m his pride and joy!” Even as the text mixes number the illustrations mix metaphors. This particular gardener daddy is pictured shampooing a child during bathtime. Más’ cartoon illustrations are sweet if murkily interpretive, affection clearly conveyed. Troublingly, though, each father and his child(ren) seem to share the same racial presentation and hair color (sometimes even hairstyle!), shutting out many different family constellations. Más does, however, portray several disabilities: children and adults wearing glasses, a child with a cochlear implant, and another using a wheelchair.

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12305-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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