Although great for reading aloud, put this at the top of the list for using as a springboard for creative writing or a...

TEN THINGS I LOVE ABOUT YOU

Rabbit and Pig join the ranks of duos that grapple with the intricacies of friendship—and impressively stand out.

Small, gray Rabbit adores Pig so much that he is writing a list of 10 favorite things he loves about his porcine pal. While Pig is touched, he is also “kind of busy.” As Rabbit repeatedly interrupts and often annoys Pig, his friend’s exasperated remarks actually inspire more “things” for Rabbit’s list. Both young readers and adults will chuckle as Rabbit’s unflappable good nature and earnest requests for help progressively take a toll on Pig’s patience. When Pig begs Rabbit to leave him alone with a strongly expressed “PLEASE, RABBIT,” Rabbit smiles and writes, “Number 7—I love Pig because he is polite and always says please.” In less-deft hands this back and forth could grow tiresome, but Kirk gets the comic timing just right. His pictures engage the eye as well, with a technique in which painted wood panels and ink-on-paper drawings are scanned and then digitally augmented with colors and more textures. The story comes full circle when Rabbit notices a sheet of paper that Pig has dropped.

Although great for reading aloud, put this at the top of the list for using as a springboard for creative writing or a discussion starter about what qualities make a good friend. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 27, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-399-25288-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

CLAYMATES

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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