Totally fun, visually startling, and a paean to creative thinking.


An anthropomorphic pig stars in an adventure reminiscent of Max’s and Harold’s but with a Miró-like journey to outer space.

At the book’s opening, the porcine protagonist experiences a spectacular skateboard crash. This is the last straw for the second-person narrator, who orders a timeout indoors. Adult readers will note that the rebellious pig sulks in a room with two books, one titled Houdini and the other Book of Art. There is also a pencil that proves to be a potent tool. Just like Harold’s purple crayon or the magic brush of Chinese folklore, the pencil allows the piglet to draw a spaceship filled with treats such as pizza and popcorn. Pig and rocket blast off, along with the caged red bird seen in the background. Within the rocket, the two animals both contentedly sip ice cream sodas through long, striped, curvy straws. The sky outside the rocket looks like a Miró painting, with abstract stars and planets, but the next double-page spread also includes Matisse-inspired shapes. Perhaps the young artist has been busy absorbing imagery from the book on the table. While the unseen narrator continues to lecture (“I hope you’re really thinking about it”), the pig stands proudly on the moon, rainbow colors radiating out in triumph. When the narrator declares the timeout is over, the unnamed protagonist is back in place, quietly grinning. The terse text works wonderfully as a foil to the exuberant acrylic paintings, mostly executed in primary colors with bold black lines and shapes and a generous use of white space.

Totally fun, visually startling, and a paean to creative thinking. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 27, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-16304-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.


This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A sweet and subtle book on sharing.


Rudy’s pink sweater is missing. Readers are invited to follow him as he searches for the sweater.

Rudy is a blue creature with a piggy snout, bunny ears, a thin, tufted tail, and a distraught look on his face. His beloved pink sweater is gone. “It was a bit too small and showed his belly button. But it was his favorite.” Where could it be? In a search that doubles as a countdown from 10 to one, Rudy makes his way through the different rooms of the house—top to bottom, inside and outside. As readers open the wardrobe door, “TEN tumbling cats” provide the first hint as to the sweater’s whereabouts. Following the pink yarn that runs across the pages, readers encounter some surprising creatures in each location—including a crocodile sitting in an outhouse busily knitting—as well as flaps to open and die cuts to peek through. Just as he’s about to give up hope—someone must’ve taken it, but “who would love wearing it as much as he did?”—the answer is revealed: “Trudy! His number ONE sister. The sweater fit her perfectly.” And, as is the nature of stories with a happy ending, Rudy gets a new sweater that fits him, from the knitting crocodile, of course. Plot, interactivity, vocabulary, and counting all contribute in making this an engaging book for the upper edge of the board-book range.

A sweet and subtle book on sharing. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3679-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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