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THERE'S A WALRUS IN MY BED!

A humorous bedtime story that children will recognize as a twist on their own experiences.

It’s hard to sleep in a new bed.

Flynn has a brand-new big-boy bed, but falling asleep in it is not as easy as it seems. For one thing, the bed comes with a walrus. A big one. “Are you hungry?” the little white boy asks. It turns out the answer is yes, but food doesn’t make Walrus sleepy. Extra blankets, a glass of milk, and a serenade don’t help either, though they do disturb Flynn’s parents (also white), who naturally assume that there is no walrus and it’s Flynn who can’t sleep. Warm, funny, and appealing illustrations show Flynn as he adjusts the light, checks for monsters, and scratches Walrus’ itch while his tired parents suffer through what they believe is noisy evidence of Flynn’s imagination. It’s not until Flynn offers a cuddle that Walrus drifts off, but then Flynn discovers that the bed isn’t big enough for the two of them. Flynn’s parents agree that Walrus can spend the night with them if Flynn promises to sleep, but they are in for a big walrus-shaped surprise! Children will enjoy Flynn’s inventiveness as well as his awareness of a situation his parents don’t perceive. Charming endpapers extend the story at both the beginning and end and leave room for creative discussion and play.

A humorous bedtime story that children will recognize as a twist on their own experiences. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-8122-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Andersen Press USA

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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HEY, DUCK!

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

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. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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