Forget your troubles—but not your snorkel!—this read is smooth sailing.

READ REVIEW

BUNNY OVERBOARD

Bunny sets sail and goes for a dip.

This gentle seafaring jaunt begins with Bunny, clad in an old-fashioned bathing costume, bidding readers “Ahoy!” and setting sail for a day on the peaceful, summery sea. With a little help from readers, Bunny puts wind in the sail, rocks the boat, and “kerplunks” safely back on deck after a near miss of the titular “Overboard!” After donning snorkeling gear, Bunny’s delight at staying dry is rendered endearingly moot as—“buns away!”—Rueda takes the frame under the sea, where Bunny invites readers to touch a “gooey rock” and pat a pufferfish and asks for assistance with an inky octopus and hunting treasure. Whatever Bunny’s tale lacks in plot, it more than makes up for in sweetness: soft, simple pencil illustrations are colored with a cheerful nautical palette, and Bunny smiles welcomingly out on every page. A charming surprise mirror will surely show readers smiling right back. On the return trip, a seal readers have seen all along is at long last revealed to the oblivious narrator, and all ends well with a refreshing glass of carrot lemonade for everyone involved. Small details add to the charm: The little sailboat is named, hilariously, “BUNNY,” and the range of expressions sported by the assorted sea creatures demands a second read.

Forget your troubles—but not your snorkel!—this read is smooth sailing. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-6256-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations.

GOD GAVE US EASTER

From the God Gave Us You series

Bergren and Bryant attempt to explain Easter to young children in a gentle, nonthreatening manner, with partial success.

When Little Cub questions her father about Easter, Papa Bear explains the religious significance of the holiday in various symbolic ways to his cub. He uses familiar things from their world, such as an egg and a fallen tree, to draw parallels with aspects of the Christian story. Papa Bear discusses his close relationships with Jesus and God, encouraging Little Cub to communicate with God on her own. The theme focuses on the renewal of life and the positive aspects of loving God and Jesus. Easter is presented as a celebration of eternal life, but the story skirts the issue of the crucifixion entirely. Some adults will find this an inadequate or even dishonest approach to the Easter story, but others will appreciate the calm and soothing text as a way to begin to understand a difficult subject. Bryant’s charming watercolor illustrations of the polar bear family, their cozy home and snowy forest scenes add to the overall mellow effect.

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations. (Religion/picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-73072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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