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From the Pip and Posy series

A well-intentioned but not entirely successful beach outing.

Sea, sun, ice cream, and friendship.

Friends Pip and Posey, a rabbit and a mouse, are back again, this time to take a trip to the beach and make a new friend. Illustrations rendered in gouache show the two intrepid beachgoers digging, wading, and shell collecting. But when Posy takes a nap and Pip begins to play with the dog that has set up his things beside them, things take a turn for the worse. Posy is awakened by their laughter, and even though Pip and the pup, Zac, make an effort to include her in their games, Posy does not enjoy herself and feels excluded. After an ice cream mishap, Posy helps Zac out, and at Posy’s suggestion, the now-happy threesome work together to build a sand castle. Though the plot is intentionally simple and geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, not enough happens here; while Scheffler does not fall victim to the temptation to overexplain, he neglects to provide enough information for young listeners to fully engage or understand precisely what the problem is and how it is resolved. Still, fans of the series will be happy to see their old friends, and children who love the beach may appreciate this flawed but passable tale.

A well-intentioned but not entirely successful beach outing. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9339-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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From the Kissing Hand series

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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From the Big Bright Feelings series

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance.

A boy with wings learns to be himself and inspires others like him to soar, too.

Norman, a “perfectly normal” boy, never dreamed he might grow wings. Afraid of what his parents might say, he hides his new wings under a big, stuffy coat. Although the coat hides his wings from the world, Norman no longer finds joy in bathtime, playing at the park, swimming, or birthday parties. With the gentle encouragement of his parents, who see his sadness, Norman finds the courage to come out of hiding and soar. Percival (The Magic Looking Glass, 2017, etc.) depicts Norman with light skin and dark hair. Black-and-white illustrations show his father with dark skin and hair and his mother as white. The contrast of black-and-white illustrations with splashes of bright color complements the story’s theme. While Norman tries to be “normal,” the world and people around him look black and gray, but his coat stands out in yellow. Birds pop from the page in pink, green, and blue, emphasizing the joy and beauty of flying free. The final spread, full of bright color and multiracial children in flight, sets the mood for Norman’s realization on the last page that there is “no such thing as perfectly normal,” but he can be “perfectly Norman.”

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-785-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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