Tasty and, as bugs show signs of becoming even more common menu items in the near future, timely too.

THE BUG HOUSE FAMILY RESTAURANT

Insects are on the menu in this collection of food-related verse.

Mannered ink-and-wash drawings of bug cuisine and the stylish diners who consume it accompany rhymed introductions to both. Poems range from a tally of “Daily Specials” (“Each mosquito’s sliced and fried / And served with spiders on the side”) to introductions to restaurant regulars like “Hervis and Eddy,” terrible twins who “dined every night on tarantula skins.” Brenna’s lyrics are short, regular of meter and rhyme scheme and more easily digestible than most of the food. Along with reliably gross-out entries for bug sushi, ladybug soup, “[s]lick and oozy,” beetleburgers and the ever-popular chocolate-covered bees, the author, a native Canadian, adds several regional dishes to the menu: “But…spiders are a Saskatchewan snack, / A Saskatchewan snack, / A Saskatchewan snack! / Spiders are a Saskatchewan snack, / And we eat them a leg at a time!”

Tasty and, as bugs show signs of becoming even more common menu items in the near future, timely too. (introduction) (Poetry. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-926890-01-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Tradewind Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2014

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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

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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

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