A child as bored as Pixie may read this once.

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BEACHY AND ME

In rhyming text, the diminutive, blonde, pink-faced Pixie Picklespeare befriends a whale named Beachy.

The book begins with a colorful, gently humorous, double-page map of tiny Pixie’s Island “and surrounding ocean environs.” The layout and the retro art are reminiscent of the board game Candyland—especially at Great Candy Cane Coral Reef. The charm ends there. Pages of garish cartoons and vacuous verse tell the tale of Pixie’s boredom, all alone inside her lighthouse, until a loud burp leads her outside. The blue creature who has been beached on her island says, “Oh dear, this must look rather odd— / quite anything but peachy. / Apparently, I’ve washed ashore. / Hello—my name is Beachy!” There follows a simultaneous succession of 10 similar images of Pixie trying to push the behemoth back into the sea, which does not work. The tide conveniently rescues Beachy, who promises to be Pixie’s “ocean playtime guide.” The two cavort through the ocean during the summer, becoming “a wet ’n’ wild odd couple!” (Exclamation points are intrusively frequent.) Then Beachy admits the hard news to Pixie that he must migrate to be with other whales. Pixie is back to moping inside her lighthouse. Will he return next summer? A few more pages of singsong rhymes and less-than-inspired art lead to the expected conclusion.

A child as bored as Pixie may read this once. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-385-37314-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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