Early readers should enjoy this gentle picture book’s fantasy elements and its message of sibling harmony, all delivered...


A little boy comes up with outlandish ways to protect a “treasure” in Fegan’s (The Grumpface, 2017) picture book, illustrated by Wen (The Play Tent of Imagination, 2016, etc.).

The dynamic between siblings, a frequent theme in children’s books, receives an entertaining treatment here. Henry, a young Caucasian boy, is determined to prevent his sibling, Lucy, from getting her hands on his “treasure,” or pocket money. Mom advises Henry to put his money in the bank—and to be nicer to his sister—but Henry wants a more foolproof plan, as he’s sure that Lucy has “secret ninja” talents. Pencil in hand, he designs a 10-step scheme, introducing young readers to ordinal numbers. The plan grows ever wackier, featuring giant robots, a fire-breathing dragon, and assorted monsters and superheroes. Wen whimsically depicts these flights of fancy in pencil and digital paint via two-page spreads and small, stand-alone images. Lucy seems to break through every elaborate trap (although, in reality, she merely enters Henry’s room). What she really wants, and Henry’s reaction to this revelation, provides a touching tribute to the fact that siblings can get along and genuinely care for each other—a message that isn’t always apparent in family entertainment.

Early readers should enjoy this gentle picture book’s fantasy elements and its message of sibling harmony, all delivered with a light, humorous touch.

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9953592-4-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: TaleBlade

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves


A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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