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The cuddly, inquisitive cub Alfie (When Will It Be Spring?, 1998) returns, this time on a quest to find his “missing” baby sibling. Chafing at the seemingly interminable wait for the arrival of the new baby, Alfie becomes convinced that he or she must have gotten lost on the journey home. The eager bear cub explores the woods searching for the baby. Walters’s realistically rendered illustrations show Alfie on a merry chase as he mistakes one wild creature—a beaver swimming, a baby bison hiding, and a lounging mountain lion—after another for the baby bear. When Alfie’s father discovers his discouraged cub, he takes him to the one place Alfie didn’t search—home, where a new brother and sister are waiting. The lush nature scenes, populated by an array of lovable woodland animals, fill the pages, but this is a very human story, tempering this glimpse of a toddler’s single- minded perspective with compassion and gentle humor. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-525-46161-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999

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Baker (Big Fat Hen, 1994, etc.) engages in more number play, posing ducklings in every combination of groups, e.g., “Splashing as they leap and dive/7 ducklings, 2 plus 5.” Using a great array of streaked and dappled papers, Baker creates a series of leafy collage scenes for the noisy, exuberant ducklings to fill, tucking in an occasional ladybug or other small creature for sharp-eyed pre-readers to spot. Children will regretfully wave goodbye as the ducks fly off in neat formation at the end of this brief, painless introduction to several basic math concepts. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-292858-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1999

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This latest Froggy title (Froggy Goes to School, 1996, etc.) is utterly unfocused, with the star careening from soccer dolt to Mr. Superkick. Froggy’s team has a big game coming up with the Wild Things, and he is trying to remember the mantra his father, and assistant coach, taught him: “Head it! Boot it! Knee it! Shoot it! But don’t use your hands!” But illegally touching the ball seems to be the least of Froggy’s worries; distraction is his problem. He is so busy turning cartwheels, tying his shoes, and more, that the only time he makes contact with the ball is when it bounces off his head by mistake. Then, when the Wild Things make a breakaway, Froggy has some dazzling moves to avert a score, but forgetfully grabs the ball at the last second. The other team gets a penalty kick, converts it, but then Froggy makes a field-long kick for a game-winning score. London forces Froggy into too many guises—the fool, the hero, the klutz, the fancy dancer—but none of them stick. Remkiewicz’s illustrations have charm; it is in their appeal that this book will find its audience. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-670-88257-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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