An amusing and very relevant cautionary tale.

HARE B&B

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

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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A loving tribute to problem-solvers, quarrel menders, and peacemakers.

THE LONELY MAILMAN

From the Whispers in the Forest series

A solitary mail carrier brings more than just letters to a forest community.

From early morning to shadowy twilight, an aging, bespectacled letter carrier—depicted in Montero Galán’s forest scenes as a portly, uniformed badger on a bike—quietly delivers to the forest’s burrows, dens, and nests. The notes—all typed and printed in boxes to separate them from the narrative text—offer complaints, apologies, reconciliations, or offers of friendship between animal neighbors. Hedgehog apologizes to Squirrel for an accidental jab, and Squirrel suggests in return having dinner together and a nice chat; Woodpecker’s tapping keeps Dormouse up, and Woodpecker replies with a promise to find another tree; Rabbit would love to join Bear in the pond but is afraid of water, so Bear offers a back to climb on, “just as if I were a big old boat.” At day’s end the weary letter carrier goes home…to spend the evening typing out the very letters he’s delivering. Then one day he finds a letter in his bag addressed to him. It’s a thank-you note from the animals, who follow it up by gathering that night to heap him with appreciation. Emotionally, Montero Galán begins the letter carrier’s tale with an orangey-red dawn and ends with a rosy-red candlelit scene. Although daytime scenes are dominated by blue skies and green grass, the artist unifies the palette throughout with such touches as the red wings of butterflies and red, autumnal leaves on the trees. The effect is to suffuse the pages with warmth.

A loving tribute to problem-solvers, quarrel menders, and peacemakers. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-84-16147-98-4

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Cuento de Luz

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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