This screwball of a story will leave readers hankering for a slice.

SECRET PIZZA PARTY

From the madcap creators of Dragons Love Tacos (2012), another animal foodie shows just how far he will go to get his favorite meal.

Raccoon loves pizza. He can’t get enough of the “gooey cheesy-ness, salty pepperoni-ness, sweet, sweet tomato-ness and crispity, crunchity crust.” Alas, there is one thing that stands between Raccoon and his pizza—human beings. More specifically, human beings with brooms. They always chase him away! How will Raccoon ever get his paws on the delectable dish that he desires? By throwing a secret pizza party, of course. After donning an elaborate disguise in order to get the pizza, then following an even more elaborate escape route riddled with obstacles (past the broom factory, over the broom enthusiasts club), Raccoon is finally ready for his SECRET PIZZA PARTY! (Shhhhh, it’s a secret, remember?) But before taking a bite, he sees a masquerade ball going on right outside his tree. Will his built-in mask and wily ways help him get even more pizza? Salmieri’s droll illustrations capture Raccoon in many moods: quiet desperation with his nose pressed longingly against the pizza parlor’s window, furtive, trench-coated scheming. And yes, finally, deliriously happy, cheesy gluttony.

This screwball of a story will leave readers hankering for a slice. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3947-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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