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From the Davy series

A sweet tale of independence and family support.

Two young rabbits have a winter adventure when they’re stranded on their way home from their grandparents’ house.

Davy convinces his mother that he and sister Mia are old enough to travel alone to their grandparents’ house to deliver a homemade piece of cake. After a nice visit, the pair leave for home, trying to beat the impending snow. They lose their way in the middle of the whiteout, but Davy remembers the wise advice of their grandfather and remains calm and makes a shelter to keep them warm and dry. With a happy ending and the family’s reunification, the story demonstrates the importance of keeping a level head during emergencies. Tharlet’s illustrations give the personified bunnies plenty of charm and personality. From Davy’s red, ear-hugging hat to the grandparents with their drooping ears, the rabbits are expressive and fully imagined. Originally published in Switzerland and translated from German, this tale feels appropriately reassuring—it never truly feels like the young rabbits are in jeopardy, but their situation is nonetheless a serious one. And though Davy and Mia do their best on their own, ultimately their parents and siblings come to the rescue—a lovely, age-appropriate way to resolve the situation. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A sweet tale of independence and family support. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023

ISBN: 9780735845022

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2023

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Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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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

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