MY FRIEND

A gentle French import with winsome illustrations. The narrator (like every other creature and object readers see) is made of scraps of fabric, buttons and ribbons, a pleasing collage effect. He’s sort of sheep-shaped, but he’s not a sheep. His fabric color and texture changes every few pages, but he assures those he meets that he’s not a lion, or a dog, nor a hippopotamus. He meets another creature made like him out of a changing array of cloth, thread, snaps and buttons who wants to play. The first thing asks, “Don’t you want to know what I am?” Answers the newcomer, “I know what you are. You are my friend.” While young readers might initially be surprised at the metamorphoses these characters go through, the textures and shapes are extremely satisfying and the simple story is appealing if eccentric. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7358-1993-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2005

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Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration.

I LOVE DADDY EVERY DAY

Children point out the things they love about their fathers.

“Daddy is always kind. He gives us support and shelter when things go wrong.” A child with a skinned knee (and downed ice cream cone) gets a bandage and loving pat from Daddy (no shelter is visible, but the child’s concerned sibling sweetly extends their own cone). Daddy’s a storyteller, a magician, supportive, loyal, silly, patient, and he knows everything. A die-cut hole pierces most pages, positioned so that the increasingly smaller holes to come can be seen through it; what it represents in each scene varies, and it does so with also-variable success. The bland, nonrhyming, inconsistent text does little to attract or keep attention, though the die cuts might (until they fall victim to curious fingers). The text also confusingly mixes first-person singular and plural, sometimes on the same page: “Daddy is like a gardener. He lovingly cares for us and watches us grow. I’m his pride and joy!” Even as the text mixes number the illustrations mix metaphors. This particular gardener daddy is pictured shampooing a child during bathtime. Más’ cartoon illustrations are sweet if murkily interpretive, affection clearly conveyed. Troublingly, though, each father and his child(ren) seem to share the same racial presentation and hair color (sometimes even hairstyle!), shutting out many different family constellations. Más does, however, portray several disabilities: children and adults wearing glasses, a child with a cochlear implant, and another using a wheelchair.

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12305-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Though it is light on specific information about how and why teeth are lost, most children will enjoy relating to Bear in...

BEAR'S LOOSE TOOTH

Wilson and Chapman continue this popular series that began with Bear Snores On (2002).

Bear has invited his friends for lunch, when “something wiggled, and it wobbled…something moved when he chewed! It was… / Bear’s / loose / tooth!” In full-bleed spreads with a palette dominated by blues and greens, Chapman ably portrays Bear’s concern over this dental dilemma as well as the genuine empathy and determination of his many animal friends when they try to help remove the tooth. On several pages Bear looks right at readers as he reacts to his predicament, bringing them immediately into the story. After Hare, Mouse, Wren, Owl, Badger and others all fail at prying it loose, Bear “used his tongue and…gave a little nudge” until it falls out. A fairy comes as Bear sleeps and leaves “blueberries where Bear’s tooth had been!” Wilson keeps young readers engaged with rhyming text that keeps the gentle action flowing.

Though it is light on specific information about how and why teeth are lost, most children will enjoy relating to Bear in his latest oh-so-cozy adventure. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-5855-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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