For those who have room on the seasonal shelf as well as bus-obsessed readers.

READ REVIEW

BUNNY BUS

A smiling, bunny-shaped bus generously picks up one and all until it breaks down.

The white-eared, smiling Bunny Bus operates in a picturesque town, full of flowers, pretty buildings, and rolling hills. Well-dressed, gleeful animals hop aboard at stop after stop, overjoyed to see their fellow townsfolk. With a quick-paced gait, the rhyming verse celebrates every stop Bunny Bus makes. “Room for more? Of course! Pile on! / The Bunny Bus rolls on and on. // Hop… Hop… Hop… / STOP!” This communal event comes to a sudden and literal halt when the bus breaks down with an Easter egg– and carrot-spewing BOOM! Will there be a happy ending? Illustrator Withrow’s bright characters are reminiscent of Richard Scarry’s, with jolly animals dressed in their Sunday best, resplendent with plaids, patterns, and purses. The emotional setting seems a bit saccharine, as the animals’ smiles don’t fade even when the bus breaks down. Although happy passengers work together to solve the problem, the illustrations seem to imply that washing the bus will repair whatever broke during the explosion. Now sparkly, the long-eared bus is ready to roll, or hop, once again, with banners and balloons signaling the start of a surprising Bunny Bus Easter Parade.

For those who have room on the seasonal shelf as well as bus-obsessed readers. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-374-30225-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful.

EGGS ARE EVERYWHERE

An interactive egg hunt with turning-wheel and lift-the-flap elements.

This board book begins by directing readers to find the hidden eggs. Each wheel—there are four in all set into the interior pages—has several different eggs on it, and turning it reveals an egg in a little die-cut window. Spinning it further hides the egg behind one of two lift-the-flap panels—two baskets, for example—and readers must guess behind which they’ll find the egg they have chosen to track. A diagram on the back provides instructions for use, likely more helpful to caregivers than to little ones. There is no narrative in this book; it’s simply page after page of different directives along the lines of “Guess which door!” As a result, the focus is really on manipulatives and the illustrations. Fortunately, Kirwan’s spring-themed artwork is gorgeous. The backdrop of each page is flower- and leaf-themed with warm spring hues, echoing the artwork of Eastern European hand-stenciled Easter eggs, two of which appear at the end of the book. The animals, like the smiling snail and mischievous mice, are reminiscent of classic European fairy-tale creatures. The only human in the book is a dark-skinned child with tight, curly hair. The moveable pieces largely work, though at times the necessary white space under the flaps interrupts the illustration awkwardly, as when the child’s hands suddenly develop large oval holes if the spinner is not in the correct position. Overall, it’s more game than book.

There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7457-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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