This celebration of maturation, an ever popular theme, is most notable for the diversity of its characters.

FIRST TIMES

On the childhood road to independence, first-time accomplishments are lauded as important milestones.

A brown-skinned sister and her lighter-skinned brother celebrate their individual first times for a variety of activities such as tying shoes, riding a bike, catching a ball, or swimming a lap while their white baby sibling mostly looks on. The childlike drawings of this round-headed, wide-eyed, multiracial family add to the simplicity of the narrative, which is written in a somewhat uneven rhyme. Each specific accomplishment is highlighted, the key word or words printed in a playful display type within each sentence. “My first run with a kite as it climbs to the sky. / My first wish on a star. My first butterfly.” (Here a butterfly lands on the baby’s head.) Whether helping with shopping, making dinner, taking care of a new dog, or reading independently, these sibs are proud to exclaim their growth with each new feat. The book ends a bit abruptly with an illustration of the children in a tent happily looking out without a last sentence to close the book with one cohesive statement. Nevertheless, the basic concepts will easily be recognizable by both those who have already achieved and those aspiring to attain each new skill or experience.

This celebration of maturation, an ever popular theme, is most notable for the diversity of its characters. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1198-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Safe to creep on by.

LOVE FROM THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

Carle’s famous caterpillar expresses its love.

In three sentences that stretch out over most of the book’s 32 pages, the (here, at least) not-so-ravenous larva first describes the object of its love, then describes how that loved one makes it feel before concluding, “That’s why… / I[heart]U.” There is little original in either visual or textual content, much of it mined from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. “You are… / …so sweet,” proclaims the caterpillar as it crawls through the hole it’s munched in a strawberry; “…the cherry on my cake,” it says as it perches on the familiar square of chocolate cake; “…the apple of my eye,” it announces as it emerges from an apple. Images familiar from other works join the smiling sun that shone down on the caterpillar as it delivers assurances that “you make… / …the sun shine brighter / …the stars sparkle,” and so on. The book is small, only 7 inches high and 5 ¾ inches across when closed—probably not coincidentally about the size of a greeting card. While generations of children have grown up with the ravenous caterpillar, this collection of Carle imagery and platitudinous sentiment has little of his classic’s charm. The melding of Carle’s caterpillar with Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE on the book’s cover, alas, draws further attention to its derivative nature.

Safe to creep on by. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-448-48932-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A winning tale about finding new friends.

FOUND

Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more