PIG THE STINKER

From the Pig the Pug series

Those who have enjoyed Pig’s other adventures in badness will likely love this one, and the obviously frequent mentions of...

Pig loves things that stink…including himself.

“Pig liked to get dirty. / He frankly was RANK. / His paws could be frightful. / His fur often stank.” Pig rolls in garbage and spoiled milk; he even plays with poo! He’s not offended by smells—not even by his wiener-dog buddy’s butt! Calls for bathtime make him run, and he’s very good at escaping, evading, and hiding. He sneaks away and jams a rubber-bone toy up the bathtub spigot. Then, being the nasty scamp that he is, he boogies with glee right in the tub, taunting his owner—until the plumbing explodes, bonking him in the nose with the faucet. From then on he doesn’t balk at bathtime…but that doesn’t change the fact that he often stinks to high heaven. Pig returns from his native Australia (where the book was titled Pig the Grub) to teach another lesson by setting a bad example. Blabey’s gleefully rancid creation scampers across the pages covered in (and liberally spreading) green and brown goo, and his pong is as visible as his owner’s face is not. With his bulging eyes and general nastiness, Pig is definitely an acquired taste; that this is his fifth outing is ample proof that many have done so.

Those who have enjoyed Pig’s other adventures in badness will likely love this one, and the obviously frequent mentions of things potty-related will recruit new fans. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33754-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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CARPENTER'S HELPER

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story.

A home-renovation project is interrupted by a family of wrens, allowing a young girl an up-close glimpse of nature.

Renata and her father enjoy working on upgrading their bathroom, installing a clawfoot bathtub, and cutting a space for a new window. One warm night, after Papi leaves the window space open, two wrens begin making a nest in the bathroom. Rather than seeing it as an unfortunate delay of their project, Renata and Papi decide to let the avian carpenters continue their work. Renata witnesses the birth of four chicks as their rosy eggs split open “like coats that are suddenly too small.” Renata finds at a crucial moment that she can help the chicks learn to fly, even with the bittersweet knowledge that it will only hasten their exits from her life. Rosen uses lively language and well-chosen details to move the story of the baby birds forward. The text suggests the strong bond built by this Afro-Latinx father and daughter with their ongoing project without needing to point it out explicitly, a light touch in a picture book full of delicate, well-drawn moments and precise wording. Garoche’s drawings are impressively detailed, from the nest’s many small bits to the developing first feathers on the chicks and the wall smudges and exposed wiring of the renovation. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12320-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

BEAR FINDS EGGS

From the Bear Books series

Cheery fun that will leave series fans “egg”-static.

In his latest outing, Bear and his pals go in search of eggs.

Bear “lumbers with his friends through the Strawberry Vale.” Raven finds a nest; climbing up, “The bear finds eggs!”: a refrain that appears throughout. Instead of eating the robin’s eggs, however, Bear leaves a gift of dried berries in the nest for the “soon-to-be-chicks.” Next, the friends find 10 mallard eggs (as bright blue as the robin’s), and Bear leaves sunflower seeds. Then the wail of Mama Meadowlark, whose bright yellow undercarriage strikes a warm golden note, leads them to promise to find her lost eggs. With his friends’ assistance, Bear finds one, and they decide to paint them “so they aren’t lost again.” Another is discovered, painted, and placed in Hare’s basket. After hours of persistent searching, Bear suddenly spots the remaining two eggs “in a small patch of clover.” Before they can return these eggs, the chicks hatch and rejoin their mother. Back at his lair, Bear, with his troupe, is visited by all 17 chicks and the robin, mallard, and meadowlark moms: “And the bear finds friends!” Though this sweet spring tale centers on finding and painting eggs, it makes no overt references to Easter. The soft green and blue acrylics, predictable rhymes, and rolling rhythm make this series installment another low-key natural read-aloud.

Cheery fun that will leave series fans “egg”-static. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2024

ISBN: 9781665936552

Page Count: 40

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2024

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