TINY ON THE FARM

The enormous and abundantly energetic Tiny, canine star of the team’s When Tiny Was Tiny (1999) and other early readers, takes center stage in his first picture book. In the short and simple story, Tiny and his owner Eliot search the farm to help Uncle John find his cat and her kittens. Davis’s illustrations are the draw here, rendering Uncle John as a comical adult version of Eliot; they even wear the same plaid shirt, blue overalls, straw hat and glasses. The adorable and inaptly named Tiny’s large, sweet doggie face displays a wide range of reactions and emotions as he and Eliot tour the farm. The little blue bird from the early-reader series flaps his way into this format, too; he figures in every spread, and readers will no doubt enjoy trying to spot him. A good introduction to Tiny, this one might also inspire those readers ready to strike out on their own to try the other offerings featuring their new favorite pup. Sure to appeal to fans of that other big dog too. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-670-06246-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2008

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HOORAY FOR FISH!

Fish sporting bright colors and broadly brushed patterns flash across solid blue color fields, as Little Fish introduces finny friends, from “spotty fish, stripy fish, happy fish, gripy fish,” to “eye fish, shy fish, fly fish, sky fish.” Cousins slips in several opportunities for counting, along with all the color and pattern recognition practice, and has Little Fish close on an intimate note, with “the one I love the best,” his mom, coming in for a smooch. Preschoolers will happily dive into this oversized cousin to Lois Ehlert’s Fish Eyes (1990), and Cousins’ own Maisy’s Rainbow Dream (2003). (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7636-2741-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2005

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The message is wholehearted and positive, but the cloying execution doesn’t stand out.

THE JOY IN YOU

A parent koala encourages its child to engage in every pursuit, and so do several other animals.

The British celebrity author, host of both children’s and adult TV programs, has a very positive message to spread, but there is nothing original in the lightweight text. The many animal characters pictured in diverting, fuzzy-edged illustrations engage in various activities as the text encourages them. “You can sing! If you love to sing, sing. / Shout at the top of your lungs, or whisper soft and sweet.” On verso, a frog quartet harmonizes, while across the gutter, a lion is shown with open mouth roaring as a small bird presumably whispers. Using rhyme and alliteration but without real poetic consistency, lines such as these appear: “You can share. You can care. You can create. You can learn. / You can wonder. You can wander.” The pink flamingo creating a fantastic dessert with pineapple rings is an appealing image, and children will enjoy seeing the cuddly baby koala throughout the book as other animals step up for their showcase. The fantasy-forest setting and its animals will keep small children engaged, but the sweetness comes with a significant aftertaste of treacle. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 34.5% of actual size.)

The message is wholehearted and positive, but the cloying execution doesn’t stand out. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-18141-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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