Nevertheless, brimming with enthusiasm, this playful story has a friendly, pleasant appeal.

STICK!

A friendship is formed over a game of fetch in this simple story about finding joy in the unexpected.

Puppy wants to play fetch, but everyone is busy. Cow would rather graze, bird wants to eat his worm, and pig has his mud. Dejected, the pup throws his stick away. To his surprise, it returns with another little dog who wants to play. The two canines’ enthusiasm draws the other animals back, and a group game of fetch ensues. In just six words, Pritchett’s text, combined with expressive illustrations, explores a range of emotions. Digitally colored pencil illustrations, done in a graphic style, showcase appealing characters. However; while the spreads display a good sense of proportion and use of negative space, they don’t play with composition or perspective. In every encounter, Puppy is the same size and has a similar placement on the page. Thus, the spreads begin to feel more like a stamp rather than an image that draws one in. This can work to great effect in works such as Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie series, in which the dialogue enhances the expressive characters. But given the extremely limited vocabulary here, readers may wish for more.

Nevertheless, brimming with enthusiasm, this playful story has a friendly, pleasant appeal. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6616-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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