Readers’ satisfaction at spotting Wolf here and there and guessing the twist might enhance the first read, but that may not...

READ REVIEW

WATCH OUT FOR WOLF!

Five little piggies watch out for the wolf…but not for the reason readers might expect.

Piggle, the first pig, sets out for the store to buy the ingredients for a cake. Piggleton, the next little piggy, stays home to wrap boxes and blow up balloons. Wolf is spotted outside, and the pigs inside quickly close the blinds. Third piggy Piggit hastens through the woods delivering invitations. Owl warns that Wolf has passed by recently. Piggums, the fourth little piggy, keeps lookout from the roof, and the smallest, Pigbert, cries: “Wee wee wee! Everybody hide!” Wolf arrives, and, as readers will have surely surmised, the pigs and other animals gathered within shout, “SURPRISE!” It’s Wolf’s birthday. The huffing and puffing is all aimed at candles. Rissi’s conceit will be guessed by all but the youngest listeners long before the reveal. Santoso’s colorful, soft-edged cartoon illustrations are pleasing if compositionally busy. The slightly muted palette depicts five expressive piggies who look far more distinct than their confusingly similar names would indicate. Both the baroque names and sophisticated compositions go to war with the transparency of the plot, making it hard for this book to reach its most natural audience of older toddlers just graduated from nursery rhymes.

Readers’ satisfaction at spotting Wolf here and there and guessing the twist might enhance the first read, but that may not be enough to have them demanding rereads. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4847-8556-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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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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