The kitten has an argument, but readers would be hard put to find a decomposing spud with a more winning personality.

ROT, THE CUTEST IN THE WORLD!

A “mutant potato” with mottled skin and mismatched eyes enters a cuteness contest.

No sooner does Rot sign up than he’s bellowing out a song in anticipation of victory—until the sight of his rival contestants, an “itty-bitty baby bunny with fluffy, floppy ears,” a “little-wittle bewitching bewhiskered cuddly kitten,” and an “eenie-weenie pink and peppy jolly jellyfish” shakes even his self-confidence. Maybe if he dons bunny ears, whiskers, or a pink tutu? No, in the end he decides to go onstage as he is, show his better side (butt crack and all), and hope for the best. And, as the judging panel turns out to be composed entirely of moldy fruits, he struts off with a huge shiny trophy. Clanton includes potato stamps among the various media he uses to create his simple cartoon illustrations, achieving compellingly scabrous looks for his main character and the judges. He also leaves it to readers to decide if the outcome is a case of cuteness being in the eye of the beholder or, as the “little-wittle,” etc., kitten mutters, evidence of a rigged competition.

The kitten has an argument, but readers would be hard put to find a decomposing spud with a more winning personality. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6762-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more