BENNY AND THE BINKY

Benny, a round little pig, learns that wanting and getting are two very different experiences in this charmingly illustrated chuckler. Lindgren and Landström first introduced Benny in Benny’s Had Enough! (1999). Here, he wanted a little brother and he got a little brother, but to his dismay, all this new piglet does is scream and scream so “He is already tired of his little brother.” Benny grows even more dismayed when he sees his brother receive serenity by way of the binky, the cuddly term commonly used for pacifier, which is forbidden to Benny. The metaphorical bulb lights up in Benny’s head, and he hatches a slightly diabolical plan for switching his toy for the desired binky. Benny makes his escape. “He is happy. The binky is good.” He sprints through the town happily sucking on the binky, but it isn’t too long before Benny’s adventure turns into misadventure and he learns that the binky may well be best suited for babies. With a nod to the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf, this is a quaint tale. In simple, straightforward language, Lindgren speaks unpretentiously to her audience. Landström’s adorable artwork offers unique and pleasing perspectives and is painted in golden tones with splashes of muted pastel. This is an obvious choice for toddlers with a new member of the family to contend with. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 5, 2002

ISBN: 91-29-65497-1

Page Count: 28

Publisher: R&S/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2002

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LOLA LOVES STORIES

From the Lola & Leo series

Lola’s daddy takes her to the library every Saturday, where she finds “excellent books,” and every night her mommy or daddy reads them to her. The next day Lola acts out the story. On Sunday she’s a fairy princess; on Monday she takes her toy animals “on fantastic trips to places like Paris”; on Wednesday she’s a tiger, etc. Each new book and day provides Lola with a variety of tales to play out, with the last one—which is about a wild monster—posing the question, “What will Lola be tomorrow?” The final page shows her in a wolf suit just like Max’s. The library books, the pretending and the incorporation of the days of the week work together as a simple and pleasing premise. Beardshaw’s acrylic illustrations depict the multicultural kids and Lola’s black family with childlike charm, while the title will have librarians, parents and booksellers smiling. Alert: The book will be an invitation for lap kids to follow Lola’s lead—not such a bad thing. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-58089-258-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2010

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JAZZ BABY

A snappy rhyming text celebrates an extended family’s joyous gyrations to the jazz spinning on the turntable. From waking to sleep, Baby’s right in the thick of it, as siblings, grandparents and cousins move and groove: “So they BOOM-BOOM-BOOM / and they HIP-HIP-HOP / and the bouncin’ baby boogies with a BOP-BOP-BOP.” Wheeler’s verse scans beautifully and begs to be read aloud—danced to, even—making this a fine choice for preschool and kindergarten story times. Christie’s bold, double-paged gouache compositions locate this colorfully garbed, expressively hip family within an equally vibrant community. As Baby’s big dark eyes get glassy with fatigue, the party winds down. “Daddy sings blues. / Mama sings sweet. / While that snoozy-woozy baby . . . / . . . sleeps deep, deep, deep.” Exultant and infectious, from the red-and-yellow-striped endpapers to the final “OH YEAH!” (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-15-202522-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2007

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