Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mama's Kisses by Kate McMullan, illustrated by Tao Nyeu

I hadn't ever thought to pair these two creators together, but the result is quite delightful. McMullan, author of a popular series of truck and dinosaur books (I Stink; I'm Bad; I'm Dirty) pairs with Tao Nyeu, author and illustrator of quirky picture books (Bunny Days, Squid and Octopus, and Wonder Bear). The result is different from what both of them have previously done but it works very well.

Four mamas, a panda bear, elephant, orangutan, and leopard, are looking for their errant offspring. The little ones have no intention of giving in to bedtime this early though and they lead their mothers on a lively search through the jungle. The little ones hide under leaves, play silly games, and giggle while their mothers look for them in sweet, lilting rhymes: "Come now, my trunkling,/My dear big-eared dumpling,/Tomorrow you'll run,/You'll trumpet and spray." When they finally catch up to the naughty ones, there are kisses and cuddles all around as the babies drift off to sleep.

Nyeu likes simple color schemes, usually involving blues, oranges, and greens. This story is shaded heavily in blue with orange and yellow animals and highlights picked out against the soft, soothing background. The grainy textures of her colored pencil art blend beautifully with the sharp, black outlines of each individual leaf, plant, and animal.

Verdict: A lovely addition to bedtime stories, this will quickly become a new favorite for caregivers reading their little ones to sleep.

ISBN: 9780525428329; Published 2017 by Penguin; Review copy provided by the publisher; Donated to the library

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