A pretty, sturdy-enough bedtime story, but not more. (Picture book. 3-5)


Lewis (I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, 2000) pens 15 rhythmic quatrains designed to lull a child to sleep.

A mother readies a little girl for bed, promising a night of adventures. “Nighttime says a quick ‘Sleep tight’ / To the fading morning glories— / Then wakes up all the moonflowers / And listens to their stories.” Succeeding verses present woodland vignettes focused on mice, moths, crickets and other nocturnal creatures. Before the concluding tuck-in, there’s a six-page interstice about daytime, as Mr. Moon nods off: “Say good morning to Miss Sunshine / And the company she keeps.” The cadences sometimes bump, and sense is occasionally sacrificed for rhyme: “The butterflies have gone to sleep, / Their wings no longer flapping, / Making room for the nighttime moths, / Their soft gray wings now tapping.” Corace’s full-bleed watercolors often charm: Three nested owlets await mother’s return in a many-branched, stylized tree against a turquoise sky bright with stars. Creatures bear little relationship in size, either within or between the double spreads; the moon’s shadowed side shifts from right to left and back. The teal-and-sepia–dominated palette suits the subject. Contrasting large, opaque color fields with details of animal and plant life and playing visually with indoor/outdoor motifs like toy and real animals, the pictures try to do too much.

A pretty, sturdy-enough bedtime story, but not more. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0189-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here.


A sugary poem, very loosely based on the familiar song, lacks focus.

Using only the refrain from the original (“One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel all right!”), the reggae great’s daughter Cedella Marley sees this song as her “happy song” and adapts it for children. However, the adaptation robs it of life. After the opening lines, readers familiar with the original song (or the tourism advertisement for Jamaica) will be humming along only to be stopped by the bland lines that follow: “One love, what the flower gives the bee.” and then “One love, what Mother Earth gives the tree.” Brantley-Newton’s sunny illustrations perfectly reflect the saccharine quality of the text. Starting at the beginning of the day, readers see a little girl first in bed, under a photograph of Bob Marley, the sun streaming into her room, a bird at the window. Each spread is completely redundant—when the text is about family love, the illustration actually shows little hearts floating from her parents to the little girl. An image of a diverse group getting ready to plant a community garden, walking on top of a river accompanies the words “One love, like the river runs to the sea.”

Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0224-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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This book wants to be feminist.

Princess Penelope Pineapple, illustrated as a white girl with dark hair and eyes, is the Amelia Bloomer of the Pineapple Kingdom. She has dresses, but she prefers to wear pants as she engages in myriad activities ranging from yoga to gardening, from piloting a plane to hosting a science fair. When it’s time for the Pineapple Ball, she imagines wearing a sparkly pants outfit, but she worries about Grand Lady Busyboots’ disapproval: “ ‘Pants have no place on a lady!’ she’d say. / ‘That’s how it has been, and that’s how it shall stay.’ ” In a moment of seeming dissonance between the text and art, Penny seems to resolve to wear pants, but then she shows up to the ball in a gown. This apparent contradiction is resolved when the family cat, Miss Fussywiggles, falls from the castle into the moat and Princess Penelope saves her—after stripping off her gown to reveal pink, flowered swimming trunks and a matching top. Impressed, Grand Lady Busyboots resolves that princesses can henceforth wear whatever they wish. While seeing a princess as savior rather than damsel in distress may still seem novel, it seems a stretch to cast pants-wearing as a broadly contested contemporary American feminist issue. Guthrie and Oppenheim’s unimaginative, singsong rhyme is matched in subtlety by Byrne’s bright illustrations.

Skip it . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2603-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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