May inspire some bathroom fun among readers; get those sponges ready….

BATHROOM BOOGIE

When the family’s away, the toiletries play in this follow-up to Kitchen Disco (2017).

“When you kids go off to school, / And grown-ups go to work… / Your bathroom comes ALIVE / and all the things there go berserk!” The antics of various articles are depicted in ultrabright colors and tight rhymes. Shampoo plays “funky beats,” then “rinses and repeats.” The toothpaste “wriggles” and “squeezes,” the loofahs “dance like they don’t care,” and the mouthwash has “minty moves” all his own. Inevitably, the party gets a bit out of hand. The bathroom is a mess, and the family will be home soon. Shampoo organizes the cleanup. “And don’t forget the foam!” The two kids in the family notice that some bathroom articles have moved…and wonder. Party on! Foges’ punny text keeps a steady beat, but it is repetitive, missing an opportunity to present more vocabulary. Murphy makes each page a riot of shapes and colors. The various bathroom items have googly eyes, smiling mouths, and pipestem arms and legs, displaying a remarkable amount of personality. Readers can (and should) access the “Bathroom Boogie” video on YouTube, where a plummy British voice (kind of) raps the verse and children join him to sing the chorus. Notably, the family is biracial; the kids’ mom is white and the dad is black.

May inspire some bathroom fun among readers; get those sponges ready…. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-5713-4045-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

THE HUG

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Great for storytime or for little monkeys who need encouragement to run around.

SPUNKY LITTLE MONKEY

Every little monkey needs to get up and move!

“Sleepy Little Monkey / Won’t get out of bed. // Mama called the Doctor / And the Doctor said: / ‘Apple Juice, / Orange Juice, / Gooseberry Pies— / Monkey needs / some exercise!’ ” Little Monkey pops out of bed and, after dressing, does some quick calisthenics. “First you get the rhythm of the head: / Ding-Dong! // Have you got the rhythm of the head? / Ding-Dong!” A sway of the head accompanies each ding-dong. Then there’s a clap and a stomp. There’s some hip shaking. “Put them all together / You’ll be feeling so much better.” Monkey goes through the movements forward and backward and gives a cheer. “Spunky Little Monkey / Ready for the day. / Come on, Monkey— / LET’S GO PLAY!” A frequent collaborator of the deceased Martin’s, Sampson turns out a rhythmic invitation to wiggle in the morning. The text's catchy enough that little monkeys will want to hear it again and simple enough they’ll learn it quickly. Won’s big, bright digital illustrations (made from scanned watercolor washes) feature an adorable, rosy-cheeked monkey of indeterminate gender in jean shorts and striped T-shirt going through the motions before running off with animal friends. It may be a bit unclear exactly what motions are called for each time, but Little Monkey's moving, and that's the point.

Great for storytime or for little monkeys who need encouragement to run around. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-77643-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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