This delightful story will appeal to everyone from younger preschoolers to new readers to dog lovers of any age.

GOOD DOG

An appealing black-and-white dog finds a home with a little girl and her parents after rescuing the child’s lost teddy bear.

A striking cover presents a simple, inviting image of the little dog with a quizzical expression. The story begins on the front endpapers with multiple spot illustrations of the dog looking sad and lonely. The dedication double-page–spread shows the dog observing a little girl and her mom leaving their house for a bike ride, with the child in her own little seat holding her teddy bear. Each page or spread has just two words of text, with a different adjective modifying the word “dog.” The pup’s struggles and emotions are ingeniously conveyed with this textual device, following the dog through danger, hunger, loneliness, and the brave restoration of the missing bear to the little girl. In a touching conclusion, the hopeful child asks her parents, “My dog?” Teddy bear, girl, and dog are ready to start their new life together on the last spread with a gigantic speech balloon stating, “Good dog.” The little girl has brown skin and black hair in cornrows, like her dad, and her mom has light skin. A busy scene at a city park shows a vibrant community with people of different ethnicities and ages, including several with disabilities. Digitally produced illustrations use a muted palette with smudgy edges and heavy, black outlines delineating the characters, complementing a thoughtful, well-paced design.

This delightful story will appeal to everyone from younger preschoolers to new readers to dog lovers of any age. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266286-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

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TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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