A BOOK OF FRIENDS

PLB 0-06-028362-9 Ross reduces a topic as enigmatic and multi-faceted as friendship to didacticism and platitudes. “Friends come in all different sizes and shapes and colors,” the text intones; friends can be big and small, new and old, best and imaginary. The things Ross suggests pals do together—take new experiences, confide troubles, have an adventure, share—will hardly be news to children, and becomes somewhat bald in these pages. The asides are worse: “It’s not the size of your friends that counts. It is the size of your heart” and “It doesn’t matter how many friends you have. . . . It’s quality, not quantity, that counts!” Some people won’t mind the presentation; the bestseller lists are full of such volumes as Ross and Rader’s A Book of Hugs; still, most children will want to dodge the finger-wagging. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-028170-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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PAULINE

Pauline (32 pp.; $16.00; Oct. 5; 0-374-35758-7) The illustrator of Kate Banks’s many books (The Bird, the Monkey, and the Snake in the Jungle, p. 62, etc,) goes solo for a tale that proves children’s suspicion that bigger isn’t always better. Pauline, a fuzzy-eared weasel, is an unlikely heroine, but her courage and dramatic talents combine to save her best friend Rabusius the elephant, trapped by hunters. The thick bold lines and lush colors of the illustrations infuse the story with an excitement and immediacy that will appeal to preschoolers. The spreads are presented from a weasel’s-eye-view are particularly captivating and reinforce Pauline’s small stature and mighty impact. (Picture book. 3-6.)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 1999

ISBN: 0-374-35758-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1999

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WHAT ABOUT ME?

This entry in the Toddler Story Book series centers on a common desire: the wish to be the center of attention. Katy introduces a small white kitten named Arthur into a play group of other animals, one of whom is Charlie, a large, orange cat who can ride a scooter. Katy counsels the animals that Arthur is new and needs some friends. All but Charlie rush to welcome the newcomer, leaving the orange cat to wonder how he can turn the tables. He stoops to show-off ploys and refuses invitations to join the others. Katy, by making Charlie feel special, negotiates a way for everyone to play together. Casting a toddler as the adult provides a role model in socialization and leadership for little ones; sturdy pages make the book easy to handle and attractive to its intended audience. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7894-4840-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1999

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