Sweet depictions of reassurance and friendship.


The anthropomorphic title character isolates himself to feel safe from the elements—until an unexpected visit from Mole.

Weasel’s friendly face, fluffy, rust-colored fur, and loose polka-dot necktie remove any prejudices some readers may have about his species. Indeed, he is innocently collecting fall leaves against a colorful, bucolic backdrop when “suddenly the weather changed.” The page turn shows, on the verso, two comical vignettes of Weasel trying to protect himself from a “nasty rain” by clamping a large leaf on his head and then falling “FLAT on his bottom” as a gust of wind hits him. Little viewers will giggle as Weasel tells the sky, “That’s ENOUGH of that nonsense!”—and is soon pelted with hail. They will also empathize with Weasel’s growing sense that he’s small and powerless. Weasel builds himself a snug, protective home, where he lives in isolation until, one day, he turns around to find Mole sitting on the blue sofa. The ensuing dialogue is first about Weasel’s insistence that his home is solely for safety and then about Mole’s insistence that there is plenty of fun to be had in the fortress. A particularly comical illustration shows the bespectacled Mole demonstrating his “scary face” to thwart foxes. Mole proceeds to turn Weasel’s concerns on their heads, demonstrating to Weasel—and readers—that “a different way of seeing things” can work wonders. A healthy range of vocabulary differentiates the two creatures’ divergent approaches to life.

Sweet depictions of reassurance and friendship. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-193-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Exciting artwork paired with disappointingly dull text.


Rhyming verses about kindness using a consistent metaphor of widening cracks versus blooming plants are amplified by cutouts on each page.

The art and layout are spectacular, from the cover through the double-page spreads near the end. Racially diverse toddlers are shown engaging in various moods and behaviors, some of which create unhappiness and some of which lead to friendship and happiness. Every page’s color palette and composition perfectly complement the narrative. The initial verso shows two children in aggressive stances, backgrounded by a dark, partly moonlit sky. Between them is a slender, crooked cutout. The large-type text reads: “It all / starts / with a / crack / that we can hardly see. / It happens when we shout / or if we disagree.” The recto shows two children in sunlight, with one offering a pretty leaf to the other, and the rhyme addresses the good that grows from kindness. In this image, the crooked die cut forms the trunk of a tiny sapling. Until the final double-page spreads, the art follows this clever setup: dark deeds and a crack on the left, and good deeds and a growing tree on the right. Unfortunately, the text is far from the equal of the art: It is banal and preachy, and it does not even scan well without some effort on the part of whomever is reading it. Still, the youngest children will solemnly agree with the do’s and don’ts, and they may decide to memorize a page or two.

Exciting artwork paired with disappointingly dull text. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-229-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...


Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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