With its gentle morals of acceptance, not judging by appearances, and being open to outcomes different than expectations,...

ONCE UPON A GOAT

A picture-book fable featuring a king, a queen, a fairy godmother, and…a goat?

In this sweet and playful fable, a royal couple wishes hopefully for a child. While they claim “we’re not particular,” they also present their fairy godmother with a wish list that their child have “glowing skin, bright eyes, and hair like ocean waves” and preferably be a boy, “but any kid will do.” She gets to work, and on the next full moon the king and queen receive the answer to their wishes—but it’s a goat and not the perfect human boy they were expecting. Disappointment turns to despair before despair turns to delight as this unusual trio becomes a loving and happy family. When they are ultimately given the opportunity to correct the “misunderstanding” and swap their beloved goat for a human child, the royal parents arrive at a creative solution. The smoothly paced illustrations are nicely varied among vignettes, full pages, and double-page spreads. The artwork is rich with traditional fairy-tale motifs, and the austere lines of the palace contrast amusingly with the chaos brought by the goat child. While it has a small cast of human and humanoid characters, all of them present white.

With its gentle morals of acceptance, not judging by appearances, and being open to outcomes different than expectations, this is a lovely family read-aloud. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-7374-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Full of humor and action, with easily recognizable emotions.

NOPE

A nearly wordless graphic picture book illustrates the angst of a fledgling whose parent is determined to see it take its first flight.

The double-page spread encompassing the title page shows a small, comical bird sitting in a nest of twigs, dubiously eyeing a larger bird who flies above it with a facial expression of avian bliss. There follows a series of panels that show long-distance views of the larger bird gracefully landing in the nest occupied by, apparently, its progeny. The next double-page spread shows a single aerial view, with the little bird gazing far down to the earth. On the ensuing pages, the little bird exhibits high anxiety and clings to its parent with a large speech bubble that proclaims the titular “NOPE!” Over the course of the book, the little one—through pastel-tinged images in thought bubbles—imagines all the possible terrors it may encounter venturing from the nest, while its parent continues to encourage it to leave. There are occasional sound-effect words, such as “shake” and “flap,” and there is a full page of “no” in several different languages. Most of the story is told exclusively with the funny facial expressions and body language of two birds at cross purposes. The simple message is clear, and the humorous animals are foregrounded against pretty green and blue watercolor settings. Naturally, “nope” eventually changes to “yep.”

Full of humor and action, with easily recognizable emotions. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-99731-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A wonderfully silly story about being true to yourself.

PIRANHAS DON'T EAT BANANAS

It takes a lot of sass to make “piranhas” and “bananas” rhyme, and Blabey’s book is full of that sass.

Who would guess that a piranha loves fruit? But Brian does. When he tries to tempt other piranhas to try a banana, they turn him down cold. “Well, how about some silverbeet?” Brian asks. “Are you serious, Brian? We eat feet,” they reply. “Or would you rather a bowl of peas?” “Stop it, Brian. We eat knees.” Children will readily guess what the other piranhas reply when Brian asks if they’d like some nice, ripe plums. But Brian keeps trying, ultimately offering the other fish “an awesome fruit platter.” They gobble it up in a typical piranha frenzy, and a hopeful Brian asks, “Is it yucky or yum?” While they admit “It’s very nice,” they enthusiastically proclaim, “But we still prefer bum!” The loose, rhyming back and forth between Brian and the other piranhas make this a fun read-aloud guaranteed to generate giggles and requests to “read it again.” Illustrations, just as sassy as the text, spotlight bright, lantern-jawed avocado-green fish and colorful fruit that pop against a stark white background. And the piranhas’ facial expressions? Priceless. Don’t miss the endpapers for serious and not-so-serious information about piranhas and bananas.

A wonderfully silly story about being true to yourself. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-29713-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more