A vibrantly illustrated, relaxation-focused sleep story that has plenty of appeal.


Zenji & the Muzzy Bug


From the Buddabugzz Sleepwell series , Vol. 1

A bright green, kid-friendly monster does visualizations to defeat a cold in Madden’s children’s series debut.

The sick “buddabug” Zenji, with his green and teal fur, long wings, and pitiful expression, is sure to grab young readers’ attention from the first page of this book. The preschool crowd will identify with his ailments, too: “His chest was wheezy, his forehead was clammy, and his whole body ached. In fact he was feeling rather cranky indeed.” Stuck inside with no friends but his teddy bear, Zenji is bored until Karma, the “little voice that lives inside” his head, appears to help guide him through a mindfulness drill to help him sleep. After he’s relaxed, Zenji envisions himself traveling through his own body to fight off the “muzzy bug” that’s keeping him sick. The soporific text’s meditative nature is perfect for youngsters who have trouble going to sleep at night. However, the idea that meditation helps children to use “magic” to get rid of their colds may frustrate some sick children and their parents. Madden’s computer-generated illustrations are charming throughout, especially when they combine words and images, as when Zenji learns to breathe in good, healthy air and breathe out what’s making him feel bad. The repetition of words such as “down,” “smaller,” and “deep,” among others, will help adult readers deliver the text slowly to children. The book’s guided journey through each part of the body will be very helpful in introducing kids to this style of mindful relaxation. The amount of text per page isn’t overwhelming, and newly independent readers may do well on their own, particularly given the text’s occasional use of rhyme. The title will likely work best as a read-aloud when a sleepy child is already under the covers.

A vibrantly illustrated, relaxation-focused sleep story that has plenty of appeal.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9570626-1-0

Page Count: 31

Publisher: DesignBOS

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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