Possum weathers disaster in this gentle, charmingly illustrated, oh-so-timely tale.

READ REVIEW

POSSUM AND THE SUMMER STORM

Last appearing in Possum and the Peeper (1998), Possum finds himself homeless in his newest adventure.

As a summer storm approaches, Possum gathers his baby possums into their home in their brush pile, which is soon washed away, leaving Possum floating in the flooded creek with his children clinging to his back. From their perch in a tree, Possum assures his children they’ll find a new one, although there is nary a brush pile to be seen. Discovering Possum’s homeless state, a chipmunk helps the little ones dig a burrow on higher ground, but Possum can’t fit into its entrance. After hearing about Possum’s dilemma, Muskrat shows him how to construct a lodge with cattails and mud above the chipmunk burrow. When a wasp adds windows crafted from chewed wood and saliva and an oriole weaves swinging nests from grasses and vines, Possum soon has “the most beautiful home in the world!” Despite Possum’s dire situation, the text remains calm, reassuring, and upbeat. Illustrations in delicate, crosshatched pen-and-ink lines and watercolor washes move from atmospheric storm sequences in which wide-eyed Possum and his adorable babies watch rising water wash them and their home downstream to fascinating close-ups of animals working industriously together above- and belowground.

Possum weathers disaster in this gentle, charmingly illustrated, oh-so-timely tale. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-89891-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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Readers will agree: All differences should be hugged, er, embraced.

BIRD HUGS

Watch out, Hug Machine (Scott Campbell, 2014), there’s another long-limbed lover of squeezes in the mix.

Bernard, a tiny, lavender bird, dejectedly sits atop a high branch. His wings droop all the way to the ground. Heaving a sigh, his disappointment is palpable. With insufferably long wings, he has never been able to fly. All of his friends easily took to the skies, leaving him behind. There is nothing left to do but sit in his tree and feel sorry for himself. Adamson amusingly shows readers the passage of time with a sequence of vignettes of Bernard sitting in the rain, the dark, and amid a cloud of paper wasps—never moving from his branch. Then one day he hears a sob and finds a tearful orangutan. Without even thinking, Bernard wraps his long wings around the great ape. The orangutan is comforted! Bernard has finally found the best use of his wings. In gentle watercolor and pencil sketches, Adamson slips in many moments of humor. Animals come from all over to tell Bernard their troubles (a lion muses that it is “lonely at the top of the food chain” while a bat worries about missing out on fun during the day). Three vertical spreads that necessitate a 90-degree rotation add to the fun.

Readers will agree: All differences should be hugged, er, embraced. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9271-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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THE SNOWY NAP

A hedgehog tries to stay awake for winter.

It’s almost time to hibernate, and Hedgie means to. But as he sniffs the chilly wind, farmyard animals taunt him about what he’ll miss. The hens’ coop will be “bedazzled by icicles”; the geese will joyfully “slip and slide across the pond ice”; the pony will pull a sleigh; snowflakes will fall, no two alike. The animals heckling Hedgie—hens, geese, sheep, pigs, a billy goat, a pony—are drawn with fine lines, hatchings, and textures. Because their faces are mostly realistic with only faint hints of anthropomorphism, their needling is subtle; some readers may hear their points as merely informative. Either way, Hedgie’s seized by FOMO: He decides to stay awake. When he accidentally nods off, farm girl Lisa brings him indoors and places him in a tea cozy on a windowsill. Nature will eventually run its course, but not before Hedgie finally glimpses “flowers of frost decorating his window,” the chicken coop “sparkl[ing] like a palace,” and Lisa pond-sliding with the geese. Brett’s watercolor-and-gouache illustrations feature both soft and bright colors, with fine lines and copious textures to peruse; the borders are characteristically fussy (braided yarn, pinking-shears edging, oval insets) but not distractingly so. Between the opulent farmhouse with decorative plates on the walls, the sleigh with sleigh bells, and the lack of adults, combined with a comfortably heated interior, this is a winter idyll. Lisa presents white.

Amiable. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-17073-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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