A gorgeous portrayal of a relaxing life in the wilderness.


Pura Vida Mae!: An Original Story for Children

This kids’ book introduces readers to the colorful, exotic world of the Costa Rican jungle through the eyes of an iguana.

Daniel, an iguana, lives a happy life in the rain forest. He enjoys relaxing on a branch in the sun, eating leaves, and smelling the flowers. His favorite saying is “Pura vida” (“pure life”), a term that reflects the cultural idea that one should live a happy and relaxed existence. Daniel has a few friends who agree with his philosophy, such as Vivi the butterfly, Garcia the sloth, and Linda and Carlos, two other iguanas. However, he also knows animals that don’t seem interested in this lifestyle, such as Hannah the toucan, Julian the howler monkey, Arnoldo the grackle, and Alba and Peyton, a jaguar and an ocelot. Despite their occasional urgings for Daniel to change his behavior, the iguana decides in the end that he’s happy with his life and with himself, and that’s good enough. The book introduces a particular philosophy of self-acceptance, but what it does best is show readers the incredible world of the rain forest. Drawn in bold, bright colors, the illustrations bring the jungle and its inhabitants to life. Set against a background of tall trees and brilliant flowers, readers see Daniel interact with gorgeous creatures in all parts of his environment. Garcia hangs languidly from his tree; birds fly in front of a brilliant blue sky with white clouds; and an osprey hovers above an iridescent river, into which Daniel dives. From the subtle blushes of the flowers to the incredible detail of Vivi the butterfly’s wings, each page of this book could be a painting in itself. Overall, the vivid illustrations and charming story are the perfect way to expose children to the incredible vibrancy and unique habitat of the rain forest.

A gorgeous portrayal of a relaxing life in the wilderness.

Pub Date: July 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4575-3977-0

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Dog Ear

Review Posted Online: Aug. 24, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet