HIDE & SEEK

Delicate, rickety, and very droll watercolors inject this buoyant tale with real presence. “I hide. You seek,” says a little trembling mouse to a bespectacled older woman, who may well not even know of the mouse’s existence. Then, in a twist on “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe,” the mouse makes off to hide from the woman. “1, 2. Tiptoe shoe. 3, 4. Creep to door. 5, 6. Old door sticks. 7, 8 Spy a crate. 9, 10. Quick! Dive in!” (That quote stretches across 10 pages, text written in huge letters across the bottom of each page, numbers on one side, words on the other.) The woman, who has been trying to discern where little squeaks are coming from (“Ready or not! Here I come!”), approaches the crate just when the mouse is taking a peek over the edge. Aye carumba! Here a giant nose and eyes face the mouse who’s about the size of the nose. The lady bolts and the mouse figures the game is afoot. “You leap, I shriek!” he squeaks. A slim tale, but clever and comical in how the mouse pulls the woman into the game. One can almost hear the shrieks of laughter from the audience. Tilley’s artwork is an enormous plus, with fine, wobbly lines and an up-close-and-personal point of view. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-531-30302-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2001

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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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A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride.

IT'S RAMADAN, CURIOUS GEORGE

For one special month, George accompanies a young friend through fasts, feasts, and good works at the mosque.

Such headers as “Waiting for Sunset” and “Sharing with Others,” along with glimpses of stars and crescents in the background and a “Ramadan Mubarak” banner, offer oblique references to some basic themes and symbols, but Ramadan’s purpose, many of its practices, and even the word “Muslim” go unmentioned in this tabbed board book. Khan’s rhyme lumbers along (“George can’t wait for tomorrow, / When the month of Ramadan will start. / It’s a special time of year for his friends, / And George is going to take part!”). Meanwhile, Young plugs George and the Man in the Yellow Hat into scenes with Kareem, his father, and his hijab-wearing mother. (Kareem and his dad appear to be black; his mother is lighter-skinned.) They make cookies, gather with friends at sunset to break their daily fast and pray (offstage), then enjoy “Kabobs, curry, veggies, and rice” with chocolate-dipped bananas for dessert. At the mosque, George helps Kareem make food baskets and tries to pass out the racked shoes until an imam gently stops him. Finally, beneath a thin crescent moon at month’s end, George gets a new vest (and the Man a yellow fez) for the celebration of Eid.

A rudimentary introduction, with licensed characters that are just along for the ride. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-65226-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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