Baby Baby Baby!

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Baby Baby Baby! by Marilyn Janovitz

A board book filled with a jaunty rhythm and fun rhymes, this is a book that the littlest ones are going to love (and so will their grown ups!)  The book starts with action and movement, like clapping hands, dancing feet, and crawling away.  It then moves into preparation for bedtime with a bubbly bath, laughs, and some peek-a-boo.  Oh, and a little chasing of the cat too.  Then it slows down into hugs, sleeping and kisses.

Though the rhythm stays the same all the way through, it can be read with plenty of action and then moves gracefully into the quieter moments.  The verse is engaging and fun, matching well with the illustrations which are filled with color and pattern.  Plenty of bright colors also transition at the end to more pastels, making the quiet part that much more soothing.

A very cute board book to share with a toddler or baby story time or to have at home to enjoy again and again.  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from copy received from Sourcebooks.

The Memory Bank

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The Memory Bank by Carolyn Coman, illustrated by Rob Shepperson

Hope Scroggins lives with her little sister, Honey, and her neglectful and uncaring parents.  Perfectly horrible people!  One day when they are out in the car, Honey laughs out loud and doesn’t stop.  So her parents leave her behind on the side of the road.  The only thing that Hope can do is watch out of the back window.  Her parents order her to forget her sister, but she can’t.  Instead Hope starts to sleep more and more, retreating to a dream world.  Readers don’t have to fret about Honey.  Her part of the story is shown in wordless pictures, showing her being rescued from the side of the road almost immediately by a truckload of children.  Hope receives the first letter she ever had which summons her to The Memory Bank.  She is picked up and taken there where she discovers a place where memories and dreams are stored like treasures.  She has not been making enough new memories and has been creating too many dreams, so her account is imbalanced, but they had never expected her to be a child!  As Hope spends time at the Memory Bank with its band of interesting characters, she starts to remember more and more about Honey.  Perhaps even enough to find Honey again!

Coman has created a book in the vein of Roald Dahl where the adults tend to be either horrible humans or wonderful adoring people.  This is a new book that reads like a classic.  It has a timelessness about it as well as a winning combination of fantasy and reality.  Coman’s world building at the Memory Bank is wonderful, each new area revealing itself to the love-starved Hope like its own treasure. 

I have an Advanced Reader Copy of this book, so I don’t have all of the finished illustrations.  The ones that are finished have a grace to them.  Done in black and white, they too hearken back to classic children’s books.  Shepperson manages to tell all of Honey’s story with his illustrations, making sure that readers know that not only is Honey safe, but her life is pretty sweet too.

This book cries out to be shared aloud with Dahl fans and others who are looking for a book with a little zest, plenty of creativity and lots of dreams and memories.  Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from ARC received from Scholastic.

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The Familiars : The Movie

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The Familiars will become an animated film.  The director is Academy Award winner, Doug Sweetland who won the award for his short film, Presto.   Sweetland is a veteran Pixar animator, having worked on films like The Incredibles and Cars.  The authors will be writing the screenplay.  Definitely one to keep your eye on!

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