Emily Post might raise an eyebrow, but our hero is bound to find fast friends with ill-mannered readers everywhere.


What are manners without kindness? Or, for that matter, fart jokes?

Meet Ms. Elizabeth Picklepop IV. You are delighted to make her acquaintance. After taking her course on manners, readers will receive a certificate of completion. However, when blue-skinned Ms. Picklepop happens to drop an errant paint can, it results in an overly enthusiastic blue blot with eyes that becomes sentient. Every lesson Ms. Picklepop attempts to convey has the unfortunate consequence of attracting the attention of the creature, named Blurp (changing colors with every paint can they chug en route). Though well-intentioned and good-natured, Blurp causes massive paint-splotch–riddled chaos wherever they go, until finally Picklepop can take it no longer and becomes significantly less than well-mannered. Will she see the error of her ways? Derby’s natural inclination to play with paint like a child in a mud puddle comes fully to her aid here. Picklepop’s world is all hedgerows and elegant teas. The sheer, wild exuberance of Blurp comes, then, as a cathartic corrective. The great irony of the tale, of course, is that at the same time that Blurp is instigating a visual cacophony of colors, their manners are impeccable, if riddled with B’s (upon introducing themselves, Blurp says, “Bits bice boo beet boo”). (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Emily Post might raise an eyebrow, but our hero is bound to find fast friends with ill-mannered readers everywhere. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-81035-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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A winning tale about finding new friends.


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

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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. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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