Mirthful artwork and friendly rhymes get readers all toasty with warm, good feelings.



A baker delivers a loaf from the oven to his family’s kitchen, where the bread is eaten, slice by slice, through the course of one day.

Cheery acrylic artwork shows a happy clan with perky parenthesis-shaped smiles, apple cheeks and dot eyes both enjoying their mealtime bread and giving extra morsels to dogs, ducks, birds and mice. Charming portraiture, simple linework and sunny yellow backgrounds connote the warm, pure pleasure of a fine, crusty loaf. Even small children will appreciate how this family values their food, how they let none go to waste and how they share with even the smallest creatures. These animal bread lovers give thanks on joyous, full-bleed, double-page spreads with banner-sized capital letters (“HOORAY—TWEET, TWEET—FOR BREAD!”). Their hoorays offer a nice bounce and a rewarding page turn, buoying occasionally trite rhymes that surface elsewhere. The quirky, conversational language does speak directly to children, however, and the last stanza (about two runaway slices) directs little readers to turn the page for the final food festivity: A gleeful gang of smiley-faced fridge foods (beans, bacon, tomato, cheese, egg, banana, lettuce) run on hind legs to meet up with the missing slices, ready to celebrate and shout HOORAY! 

Mirthful artwork and friendly rhymes get readers all toasty with warm, good feelings. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: April 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6311-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves


A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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