Next book


A compelling tale laced with an important message.

One individual can make all the difference.

This retelling of a traditional Lumbee origin story begins with Turtle Island, which “rest[s] on the back of a gigantic snapping turtle.” The turtle’s shell is divided into sections, one for each of the moons and for the days between each moon. The turtle has several hatchlings, one of which grows into a giant, selfish creature. The Great Snapping Turtle, as it is known, lives by the mouth of the great mother spring, which provides water for the other animals; the selfish turtle blocks the spring from flowing into the creek below. Summer comes, and all the animals on Turtle Island are thirsty. Rabbit travels the island to investigate. Even when other animals won’t help him, Rabbit does not give up. He discovers that there is no water because the giant turtle is sitting on the mouth of the mother spring. Though the turtle refuses to move, the rabbit tricks the turtle, and finally spring water gushes out, forming gullies. “Then the gullies became streams, and the streams came together to form the Lumbee River.” Relying on accessible language, Boughman’s well-paced story will leave readers with a relevant takeaway: All living things have the right to water. Vivid oil paintings illustrate landscapes of Turtle Island and tell a story of their own. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A compelling tale laced with an important message. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-939053-44-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: 7th Generation

Review Posted Online: July 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

Next book


A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Next book


A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Close Quickview