An animal fable—with beautiful watercolor images—about following your dreams when others tell you to quit that never quite...

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HAVE YOU SEEN MY EGG?

A resolute rooster decides to adopt an egg in this illustrated barnyard tale.

Red the rooster wakes up one morning from a repeated dream: he’s sure he’s meant to have an egg. The hens consider him ridiculous: “When will you give up this crazy idea?” Roosters, they tell him, “don’t have eggs!” Dejected, Red walks away, but he talks himself into a quest to find his egg. First, he looks in the garden. No egg there; the valiant Rabbit tries to give him a tomato instead. Frog looks in the pond, but only discovers a pebble. Cat, dressed like a fairy princess complete with a beribboned wand, helps Red survey the barn. When they spy a ball of yarn, Owl gets involved, but merely repeats the wisdom of the hens: roosters don’t have eggs. Still, Red is so determined to succeed that he walks out into a storm. There, in a stream in a ditch, he sees an egg floating with the current. Even though he can’t swim, he fearlessly rescues the egg, bringing it home. The play against gender expectations, in which Red, a male, is devoted to locating and caring for his own egg, is charming, and a nice inspiration for all young readers drawn to nurturing, even if they’re told otherwise. But Fairchild’s (Rose and Her Amazing Nose, 2015) plot hangs together loosely, with the egg appearing suddenly and for no reason. Young critical thinkers would be wise to wonder what is in the egg that Red has saved, and to notice that he misses his morning responsibilities to look after it. Many children, however, will just be charmed by debut illustrator Shultz-Jones’ delightfully designed farm animals, including the Owl in dinosaur footie pajamas.

An animal fable—with beautiful watercolor images—about following your dreams when others tell you to quit that never quite delves into the consequences.

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5136-1965-1

Page Count: -

Publisher: 4Kidz Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2017

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

MAYBE

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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A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year.

LOVE MONSTER AND THE LAST CHOCOLATE

From the Love Monster series

The surprised recipient of a box of chocolates agonizes over whether to eat the whole box himself or share with his friends.

Love Monster is a chocoholic, so when he discovers the box on his doorstep, his mouth waters just thinking about what might be inside; his favorite’s a double chocolate strawberry swirl. The brief thought that he should share these treats with his friends is easily rationalized away. Maybe there won’t be enough for everyone, perhaps someone will eat his favorite, or, even worse, leave him with his least favorite: the coffee one! Bright’s pacing and tone are on target throughout, her words conveying to readers exactly what the monster is thinking and feeling: “So he went into his house. And so did the box of chocolates…without a whisper of a word to anyone.” This is followed by a “queasy-squeezy” feeling akin to guilt and then by a full-tilt run to his friends, chocolates in hand, and a breathless, stream-of-consciousness confession, only to be brought up short by what’s actually in the box. And the moral is just right: “You see, sometimes it’s when you stop to think of others…that you start to find out just how much they think of you.” Monster’s wide eyes and toothy mouth convey his emotions wonderfully, and the simple backgrounds keep the focus on his struggle.

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-00-754030-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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