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SLEEPOVER DUCK!

Little readers will feel the warmth of these loving, endearing friends.

Duck is ready for adventure, and Cat is willing to join in the fun.

Exuberance and over-the-top enthusiasm are Duck’s forte, and the little bird’s excitement reaches new heights at a sleepover with Cat. Duck is ready for a jamboree, while Cat is much more laid back and mellow. Cat tries to lull Duck into a restful sleep, but the little one is wired. They hear another creature ready to party, calling “Woo-hoooo!” The two friends search the barn, encountering cows, horses, sheep, and pigs in various stages of slumber. It is little Owlette who is the source of the hoots. Owlette has been playing hide-and-seek with them, greatly enjoying the party night. (Children will easily spot the mysterious guest and will enjoy being steps ahead of Cat and Duck.) Now they are all tuckered out and ready to sleep. Cat and Duck are as delightful as ever in this third outing in the series (Hey Duck!, 2013; Just a Duck, 2015). The interspecies friends, gender unspecified, are thoroughly happy in each other’s company. The tale is told in brief, simply rhymed sentences, with a different typeface for each creature’s part in the conversations. Bramsen’s meticulously drawn illustrations are remarkably tactile and textured. The characters’ expressive facial expressions and body language perfectly enhance the action. There is a pleasing variety of single- and double-page spreads, panels, and vignettes, all in bright, colorful array.

Little readers will feel the warmth of these loving, endearing friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-385-38417-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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IZZY GIZMO AND THE INVENTION CONVENTION

From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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WOO HOO! YOU'RE DOING GREAT!

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones.

What’s better than a cheerleading chicken?

Are you ever blue, unsure, tired, or overworked? Do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed? This uplifting book, expressed in delightful, jaunty verse, explains how to lift your spirits pronto: What you need is a booster chicken telling you’re doing great even when you’re not so confident, as when you’re learning or practicing a new skill, for instance. Your feathered champion will be right there, encouraging you all the way, with a loud “WOO HOO!” that’ll keep you going and remove any doubt you’re super terrific. But what if your cheerful chick errs and doesn’t do what it set out to do? Don’t worry—your cheery chicken just needs a reminder that everyone makes mistakes. That alone is a pep talk, enhanced by the wisdom that making mistakes allows everyone to learn and demonstrate they did their best. So forgive yourself, chickens! But the best thing is…instead of relying on someone else—like a chicken—to strengthen your ego, say a generous daily “WOO HOO!” to yourself. This riotous book hits all the right notes and does so succinctly and hilariously. The energetic, comical illustrations, in Boynton’s signature style, will elicit giggles and go far to make the book’s important point. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-48679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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