An amusing and very relevant cautionary tale.


A young hare devises a clever plan to expose a suspicious guest who threatens her family.

After her mother gives birth to identical septuplets, former only child Harriet (known as Harry) becomes a devoted older sibling, warming bottles, changing nappies, telling stories, and giving piggyback rides. Returning home one day from a long walk with her siblings, Harry’s greeted with the tragic news a coyote, disguised as an encyclopedia salesman, has eradicated their parents. Determined to keep her home and family together, Harry opens the Hare B&B to take in paying guests, and, with help from all seven siblings, the enterprise proves successful. However, the arrival late one evening of a “homely” rabbit requesting a room triggers Harry’s concern. She suspects this “repulsive,” “revolting,” “repugnant” rabbit may actually be the coyote in disguise. Harry quickly sets into motion a remarkable plan involving all her siblings to rid themselves of their devious guest and exact fitting retribution (followed by rehabilitation). With echoes of “The Three Little Pigs” and “Little Red Riding Hood,” this contemporary revision reminds readers the world can be a “dangerous place,” but we must soldier on with love, plan carefully, and not “be fearful every time someone comes to the door.” Eccentric, detail-driven, original illustrations, rendered in delicate pencil lines washed in pale pastel hues, add edgy humor, visual energy, and whimsy to this little drama of deception and self-reliance.

An amusing and very relevant cautionary tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-927917-38-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Running the Goat

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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


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...


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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