A hoot for readers who already know Elephant and Piggie

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HAROLD & HOG PRETEND FOR REAL!

From the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series

This meta–early reader begins (between the end pages and the title page) with the famous duo Elephant and Piggie expressing excitement about reading a book about a pig and an elephant who happen to be best friends, just like them.

Piggie holds a copy of Harold & Hog Pretend for Real!—which is identical to the book readers are holding, leading them to believe that the characters are reading the same book. Piggie and elephant Gerald then open the cover of the book just as elephant Harold and Hog push it open from the inside, and the story seamlessly shifts to the latter pair’s perspective. Harold and Hog—illustrated with depth and fairly realistically, compared to the cartoonlike Piggie and Gerald—are excited to see the famous duo, and Harold suggests they pretend to be them. Harold then produces round, wire-rimmed glasses for himself and a cartoon pig’s snout for Hog so that they can pretend “for real.” Unfortunately, Hog is “too CAREFUL to be Piggie,” and Harold is “too CAREFREE to be Gerald!” The question then arises: Can Harold and Hog’s friendship survive this game? Building on the popular Elephant and Piggie books and with the frame story contributed by Mo Willems, Santat creates yet another early reader that is at once playful, self-aware, and perceptive in its exploration of the differences of personalities and the complications (or simplicities) of friendship.

A hoot for readers who already know Elephant and Piggie . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-02716-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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