Pickiness aside, this is a clever, buoyant look at many children’s favorite relative.

ALL ABOUT GRANDMAS

A bouncy rhyme delivers a warm, light-hearted look at all kinds of grandmothers.

Nadeau chooses cozy backgrounds in pale greens and peachy pinks to highlight the humorous antics, superior talents and loving gestures of these adoring ladies. Known as Savta or Abuela or Baba or Daa-dee-maa, these grandmas from all cultures gab on park benches, balance in yoga poses, ride bikes, knit, bake and go birding. Schotter also includes a flashback to what these wonderful women did when they were younger, whether it be dancing to rock and roll or marching for equal rights. There is also a touch of the stereotypical: “There are nagging grandmas and bragging grandmas, / some noisy, some purry. / But no matter the grandma, / they all seem to worry!” Yet “when I need to know, / who she loves so, / I look in her eyes…” The ultimate message is that grandmas most enjoy spending time with their beloved grandchildren—and that “just like we do, they need to know, / who it is that loves them so.” This book has obvious uses as a discussion starter about family members and the roles they play. A glossary of Grandma in different languages at the beginning of the book is particularly helpful but would be more so if pronunciations were included.

Pickiness aside, this is a clever, buoyant look at many children’s favorite relative. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3714-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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Though it looks like a book for longed-for children, it’s really for their parents.

TO THE MOON AND BACK FOR YOU

A poetic ode to women who became mothers despite the challenges they faced.

Whether navigating the roughest seas, crossing the hottest deserts, or pushing through painful brambles, the mothers in this book know their long, hard journeys were worth the effort. There might have been failure and doubt, but now that it’s all over, they know they’d “do it all over again. For you.” First-person narration expresses in metaphor the extraordinary lengths some mothers will go to achieve their dream of holding a child in their arms. Sentimental and flowery, the text is broad enough to apply to the journeys of many mothers—even though the text is gender neutral, the illustrations clearly center the mother’s experience. At times another figure, often male-presenting, is shown alongside a mother. Soft, jewel-toned illustrations peppered with textures depict families with a variety of skin tones and hair colors/textures. The assortment of mothers shown demonstrates the universality of the message, but it also contributes to the absence of a strong visual throughline. In the concluding author’s note, Serhant shares her personal struggle to conceive her child, which included fertility treatments and IVF. Ultimately, although the sentiment is lovely, the message is too abstract to be understood by children and will be better received and appreciated by parents.

Though it looks like a book for longed-for children, it’s really for their parents. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-17388-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A particularly soppy, sloppy addition to an already-overstuffed genre.

I LOVE YOU MORE AND MORE

A bear cub gets a load of lyrical loving from a lumbering parent in this nature walk.

Expressed in stumbling rhyme—“I love you more than trees / love to change with every season. / I love you more than anything. / I cannot name just one reason”—Benson’s perfervid sentiments accompany scenes of bear and cub strolling through stands of birch, splashing into a river to watch (just watch) fish, and, in a final moonlit scene, cuddling beneath starry skies. Foxes, otters, and other animal parents and offspring, likewise adoring, make foreground cameos along the way in Lambert’s neatly composed paper-collage–style illustrations. Since the bears are obvious stand-ins for humans (the cub even points at things and in most views is posed on two legs), the gender ambiguity in both writing and art allow human readers some latitude in drawing personal connections, but that’s not enough to distinguish this uninspired effort among the teeming swarm of “I Love You This Much!” titles.

A particularly soppy, sloppy addition to an already-overstuffed genre. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68010-022-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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