Next book

MUSICAL MAC

A cohesive chord that nevertheless rings hollow.

A talented bug wants to play music but is nervous about taking the stage solo.

To compete in the Soggy Bog Talent Show, Mac the millipede decides to join a band. He grabs his many instruments in his many, many hands and heads out. Mac joins in with each rehearsing group he finds, playing violin with a tiny, antennaed orchestra, blowing his trumpet with some alley cats, and crooning with a bird a cappella group, among others. Each group’s spokesanimal compliments his talents but dismisses the prospective musician. The birds even try to eat him! They scare Mac so much that he runs all the way onto the talent show stage—alone. Then all “his new friends” in the audience—the bands he’s recently met—call out for him to play a different instrument (and “Sorry for trying to eat you!” yells one bird). Mac breathes deeply, then starts playing every instrument at once, embracing his (reader-anticipated) calling to be “his very own ONE MAN BAND!” The text incorporates some playful elements, including some internal rhyme and sequential panels, although its simple story with predictable plot turns provides little beyond the first read-through. All the animal characters, even mammals, are bug-eyed, rendered in saturated colors and placed against detailed backgrounds that provide some visual fodder.

A cohesive chord that nevertheless rings hollow. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4549-3370-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Next book

THE HUGASAURUS

Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily.

A group of young “dinosauruses” go out into the world on their own.

A fuchsia little Hugasaurus and her Pappysaur (both of whom resemble Triceratops) have never been apart before, but Hugasaurus happily heads off with lunchbox in hand and “wonder in her heart” to make new friends. The story has a first-day-of-school feeling, but Hugasaurus doesn’t end up in a formal school environment; rather, she finds herself on a playground with other little prehistoric creatures, though no teacher or adult seems to be around. At first, the new friends laugh and play. But Hugasaurus’ pals begin to squabble, and play comes to a halt. As she wonders what to do, a fuzzy platypus playmate asks some wise questions (“What…would your Pappy say to do? / What makes YOU feel better?”), and Hugasaurus decides to give everyone a hug—though she remembers to ask permission first. Slowly, good humor is restored and play begins anew with promises to be slow to anger and, in general, to help create a kinder world. Short rhyming verses occasionally use near rhyme but also include fun pairs like ripples and double-triples. Featuring cozy illustrations of brightly colored creatures, the tale sends a strong message about appropriate and inappropriate ways to resolve conflict, the final pages restating the lesson plainly in a refrain that could become a classroom motto. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-82869-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

Next book

PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

Close Quickview