In Walsh and Abbot’s third collaboration about concrete and intangible expressions of love, following The Biggest Kiss and The Perfect Hug, tiger siblings sing the praises of their active, resourceful—and attractive—mother: “When we go out/ she slips her hand in mine./ No other mother looks so fine./ No one strolling up the street/ so neat, so pretty./ And at the park nobody/ swings my swing so high./ No one brings the sky/ closer to the seesaw.” Abbot paints her toylike tigers in vibrant orange, shaped and shaded with soft pencil lines. The world the characters inhabit is one of easy solutions (“But who’d have guessed/ a mess could be/ so quick to pick up”), even tempers, and one-note rah-rah praise, but the overall mood of soothing security and familial bliss makes this a fine pick for gift-giving on Mother’s Day, as much as on Valentine’s Day. Ages 4–8. (Dec.)
Some smiles are sun smiles
run for miles smiles
but no one’s smile is wider, brighter,
than my mom’s smile.
This charming picture book is a celebration of moms everywhere!
A mother tiger and her two cubs show their love for each other in this slim tale. This slightly oversized title features an adorable feline trio cuddling under pink foil hearts on the cover. Within, one of the cubs sings a paean to Mom. She plays the best games, bakes the best goodies—even evidently does the best laundry ("No jammies are so warm or so snuggly"). How right it is to appreciate imaginative craft ideas, baking skill and expert mediation between tussling siblings, but this mother is omnipresent. The bright illustrations exude child appeal, but they fail to make up for the often oddly worded text: "Some games are fun games but not like Mom's games," or "No one brings the sky closer to the seesaw." Another misstep is in the depiction throughout of two little tigers but the dominant use of a singular pronoun; the first textual reference to a sibling is an abrupt transition to Mom-as-peacemaker: "But if we fight…." The intention of the whole is clearly to celebrate the mother-child bond, but it's too bad it is not greater than its parts. Walsh and Abbot have collaborated before—with The Biggest Kiss and The Perfect Hug (2011, 2012)—with more impressive results. Books about moms and their appreciative children abound. Pass on this lackluster offering. (Picture book. 3-5)
PreS-Gr 1—Readers follow two tiger cubs from their morning awakening by mom on the title page to their cozy tuck-in that evening. Their mother smiles the widest smile, turns objects into amazing play things, makes clean-up a snap, and bakes the yummiest cakes. Attractive images portray her strolling to the park with her cubs and, once there, swinging the highest, engaging them in exploring nature, refereeing their fights, and kissing away hurts. Carrying them on the long walk home and laughing with them through bath time splashes—nothing is too much for this mom, right down to imparting a "so right" good-night kiss. The cheery cartoon illustrations depict, in both spreads and small vignettes, the two rosy-cheeked little tigers and their neighbors. There is a good deal to view and enjoy: a cow mail carrier, different animal vendors, and a variety of animal youngsters playing in the park. Mom remains smiling all through her energetic cubs' antics. The few Britishisms are unlikely to confuse U.S. readers, but the mixture of interior as well as end rhymes may take some practice to arrive at a smooth reading. A fun read for mothers as well as their offspring.—Marianne Saccardi, Children's Literature Consultant, Greenwich, CT
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books|
|Product dimensions:||10.30(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.60(d)|
|Age Range:||4 - 8 Years|