This memorable interpretation will appeal to collectors of pop-up books and Christmas stories and to Christian families who...

THE CHRISTMAS STORY

The renowned paper engineer offers a retelling of the Nativity story.

The appealing cover is done in metallic lavender-blue with Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus in white silhouette, adorned with gold haloes. This visual theme—midrange pastel shades as background, white figures, and gold highlights—carries through the entire volume, providing a refreshing palette for a Christmas story. Each of the six pop-up scenes is astonishing in complexity and breathtaking to behold. The first scene is the Annunciation, the second shows Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, and the third is the stable and the manger with baby Jesus. Following scenes show the shepherds and their sheep and then the wise men following the star, with the last scene showing all the characters at the stable and an angel floating overhead. The angels are particularly beautiful, arranged so they appear to be flying as the spread is opened. The white paper used for the moving parts is quite sturdy, and the scenes fold back together fairly easily, so this book will last if handled carefully. Each scene is accompanied by a paragraph of well-written summary that’s carefully integrated into the backgrounds, making the text a natural partner to the exquisite art.

This memorable interpretation will appeal to collectors of pop-up books and Christmas stories and to Christian families who would like a special version of the Nativity story to share on Christmas Eve. (Pop-up picture book/religion. 4 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8326-9

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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SCAREDY SQUIRREL HAS A BIRTHDAY PARTY

From the Scaredy Squirrel series , Vol. 5

When Scaredy Squirrel plans a party, he concentrates on maximum security, not maximum fun. His checklist: "Confirm date of birth; pick a safe location; choose party colors; get tuxedo dry-cleaned; prepare cake recipe; practice breathing (to blow up balloons/blow out candles); mail party invitation to myself." That's right—there’s only one guest at Scaredy's birthday party, and it's himself. But when his chum Buddy sends him a birthday card, he reconsiders his guest list to include his pal, even making the momentous decision to hold his party on the ground instead of in his tree. Replete with the lists and diagrams that are this OCD rodent's hallmarks, the story unfolds with both humor and some useful etiquette tips. From conversational gambits (good: "If you were a tree, what type of tree would you be?"; bad: "Is that a muskrat on your head? Oops... it's a toupee") to the "dos and don'ts of partying" (do: sit quietly; don't: double-dip), kids will find much to laugh at and think about. Typically (for a Scaredy adventure), despite a plan so complete it includes tooth-brushing breaks, a surprise happens—party animals show up! Watt’s wry digital illustrations make the most of the perceived mayhem, using a host of graphic conventions to tell her story. There's no question it's a formula by now, but it's still a winning one. Many happy returns, Scaredy. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-55453-468-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

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