A how-to manual in which a love of reading shines.


A young girl greatly wants to befriend a bear; she just needs to find one first.

Julia, a tot with a messy brown ponytail and one slouchy sock, loves to play outside. A ruddy (white) complexion and a bandaged knee confirm her nature-loving ways. While outdoors, she plays with many animal friends: hide-and-seek with Abigail the groundhog, tree-climbing with Scotty the squirrel, and, appropriately, farting contests with Frieda the skunk. But what Julia longs to do is play with a bear. A book that she is reading mentions a bear’s favorite snack: honey. She gets a large, sticky pot full of the treat and waits. But it attracts only Scotty. So then she tries a basket of blueberries. After returning from lunch, she finds large, blue paw prints and her book missing! This ursine-loving gal just may have found someone to have a “bearnormous” picnic with—and a reading buddy as well. A palette of greens and browns, with bright pops of yellow, freshens the somewhat pedestrian illustrations (although the bear’s cozy treetop library is quite enviable, and his spectacles are a nice touch).

A how-to manual in which a love of reading shines. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-2-924786-47-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: CrackBoom! Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A natural as a high-volume storytime ice breaker or lagniappe.


Everyone’s afraid of something.

“No one is as brave as me,” boasts a mouse—as a shadowy owl looms up ominously from behind (look out!) and, on the next page, utters a humongous “BOO!” The titular exclamation quickly becomes a refrain, as the owl makes the same claim before being itself sent scurrying by a monkey, who is in turn put to flight by a crocodile, and so on…until at last an elephant’s preening comes to an abrupt end when the mouse comes ’round again. Hackneyed as that final encounter may be, there are not many children anywhere who won’t be delighted to feel the suspense and then bellow out the release. Newman’s loud colors and blocky figures suit the elemental simplicity of the quick sequence of buildups and climactic shouts. A pair of large, cut-out, yellow O’s on the cover that turn out to be crocodile eyes make a suitably melodramatic first impression.

A natural as a high-volume storytime ice breaker or lagniappe. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-911171-05-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A humorous—make that hysterical—homage to movies and big dreams.


Moose is steadfastly determined to achieve stardom amid the stars.

The “Mighty Moose” is the subject of a nature film—or so the director intends. The moose, however, has donned a space suit and persists in his intention to be an astronaut through multiple takes. His lacrosse-playing grandmother intrudes on the set as does a giraffe (the “Regal Giraffe”). Moose don’t play lacrosse, and giraffes belong in a safari film, according to the increasingly irate director. Grandmother, giraffe and assorted friends nonetheless launch the moose into space, allowing him to leave his natural habitat far behind. Director Waddler, evoking the spirits of Billy Wilder, Daffy Duck and Mo Willems’ Pigeon, finally gets the picture and resets and retitles his film as This Is an Astronaut. Morris’ story is filled with child-friendly humor that is cleverly matched by Lichtenheld’s comic ink, pencil and gouache paintings. The pair captures personality (lots of it), action and adventure, along with some old-fashioned filmmaking tropes. The blues and browns of the background craftily evoke both a natural and astral setting, while the literally colorful text, both typeset and hand-lettered, could adorn any traditional production set (or playground). And for a witty final touch, there is a Glossary of Filmmaking Terms. Certain to elicit gales of giggles.

A humorous—make that hysterical—homage to movies and big dreams. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-316-21360-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet