A whale's tale that dives deep and surfaces with useful lessons about making, keeping, and helping friends.

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TO THE SEA

Tim finds a whale beached on a street adjacent to his school and vows to help his new friend get back to the sea.

The amorphous, sluglike whale, Sam, is simply stuck and as shockingly invisible to others as Tim is. The whale’s hugeness captures the heft and burden of Tim’s own inexplicable loneliness. Readers first see Tim standing alone in pouring rain, his face obscured by a dripping hoodie and his need for a friend plain. Sam’s massive body, a murky emerald green, often entirely fills the page, making him difficult to discern. His round eyes, however, deliver remarkably acute information about his worry and salty homesickness. Tim’s earnest promise to get Sam back to the ocean brightens this book of dark double-page spreads, done in deep blues and greens from the very bottom of the sea. Beaming tangerines highlight all the words and people in this friendship tale, buoying every inky illustration. Children will cheer as Tim ties Sam to a rope behind his bike and pulls and pedals and huffs and puffs him all the way to a seaside cliff...and over!

A whale's tale that dives deep and surfaces with useful lessons about making, keeping, and helping friends. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4847-0813-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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