The wheels on the bikes go round…and readers will meet endearing new pals.

READ REVIEW

BIKES FOR SALE

What do you get when you smash your bike? A new friend.

Maurice sells lemonade from a cart attached to his yellow bike. Lotta has a red bike with a basket that holds sticks she collects and then gives away. Both travel along similar pathways daily yet never meet…until a stick becomes entangled in one of Maurice’s spokes, propelling him into a tree. Meanwhile, Lotta’s bike skids on some lemon rinds, causing her to crash, too. They’re unharmed, but their bikes are ruined and occupations suffer. When Maurice and Lotta read a sign advertising bikes for sale, each visits Sid’s repair shop. Hurray! Sid has fashioned a tandem bike, developed from the broken remains. He has also created a new friendship, as Maurice and Lotta become the owners/riders of a yellow-and-red lemonade-and–stick-collecting bicycle built for two. In the end, life has handed out lemons, and they’ve never tasted sweeter. This is a sweet, quiet, different take on the familiar new-friendship trope. The quirky acrylic illustrations are appealing; characters are expressive. Chipmunk Maurice has enormous black eyes and has vivid red fur. Porcupine Lotta is pale yellow. They and various other animal characters wear typical kids’ attire. Visual learners will enjoy traversing the routes taken by the main characters on the simply drawn maps printed on the front and back endpapers.

The wheels on the bikes go round…and readers will meet endearing new pals. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4521-5932-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life.

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BE YOU!

An inspirational picture book offers life advice for readers who want to be themselves.

Replete with sparkling, often quirky illustrations of children living their best lives, this book is a gorgeous guidebook for those seeking encouragement while encountering life’s challenges. The children featured—a racially diverse group ranging from infants to preschoolers—cheerfully navigate the various injunctions that flow through the text: “Be curious.…Be adventurous.…Be persistent.…Be kind.” What is remarkable about the book is that even though the instructions and the brief sentences explaining them are at times vague, the illustrations expand on them in ways readers will find endearing and uplifting. Those depicting painful or challenging moments are especially effective. The “Be persistent” double-page spread shows a child in a boat on stormy seas; it’s rich with deep blues as it emphasizes the energy of wind and rain and struggle in the face of challenge. Together with the accompanying repeated phrase “Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop,” this spread arrests readers. By contrast, the “Be kind. Be understanding” spread simply presents two children’s faces, one cast in blue and the other in gold, but the empathy that Reynolds conveys is similarly captivating. While there is no plot to pull readers through the pages, the book provides rich fodder for caregivers to use as teachable moments, both informally and in classroom settings.

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-57231-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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