Sincere rather than sloppily sentimental…and, as ever, a marvel of intricate design.

LOVE

A pop-up apotheosis in the “I love you more than anything” genre.

The panjandrum of paper engineering presents a repeated “I love you…” on alternate flat spreads; he completes them with six animal pop-ups depicting peer or parental relationships and captioned by ways of loving. These range from “exactly the way you are,” for a crab carrying on its back a large sea anemone that unfolds spectacularly as the page turns, to “and will encourage you to do great things,” paired to a trio of polar bears sliding exuberantly down a snowy slope. Though his complex, inventive pop-ups are (as usual) mostly fashioned from heavy, white paper, he makes particularly fine use of color both in the minimalist backgrounds, where hues evoke diverse seasons or habitats, and in the figures themselves. The anemone, for instance, shines in shades of orange, and the yellow and purple bills of two facing swans on the final spread give the heart shape formed by their heads and necks an intimate glow. Though the theme of reassurance is simpler, or at least less abstract, than that in his most recent outing, Believe: A Pop-Up Book of Possibilities (2019), the art again invites both wonder and broader, extended reflections on the meaning of the words. Alas, poor type contrast on some spreads may have readers struggling to find them.

Sincere rather than sloppily sentimental…and, as ever, a marvel of intricate design. (Pop-up picture book. 5-adult)

Pub Date: March 30, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1037-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 30

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?

The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers.

I LOVE YOU LIKE NO OTTER

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring through rhymed puns and sentimental art.

The title sets the scene for what’s to come: The owl asks the owlet as they fly together, “WHOO loves you?”; the kangaroo and joey make each other “very HOPPY”; and the lioness and cub are a “PURRRFECT pair.” Most of the puns are both unimaginative and groanworthy, and they are likely to go over the heads of toddlers, who are not know for their wordplay abilities. The text is set in abcb quatrains split over two double-page spreads. On each spread, one couplet appears on the verso within a lightly decorated border on pastel pages. On the recto, a full-bleed portrait of the animal and baby appears in softly colored and cozy images. Hearts are prominent on every page, floating between the parent and baby as if it is necessary to show the love between each pair. Although these critters are depicted in mistily conceived natural habitats and are unclothed, they are human stand-ins through and through.

The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers. (Board book. 6 mos-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1374-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more