From the Adventures of Zip series

Zip and Bip have the touch to zap fun into early reading.

A fun and bouncy adventure for the earliest readers.

Join Bip and Zip, two pea-green, antennaed extraterrestrial cartoon friends (or siblings), for another in the Adventures of Zip series. Bip, wearing a diaper, is the younger and smaller of the two. A zap from Zip causes Bip to begin to grow. At first, Bip grows to be just as large as Zip, and the two play ball. Zip wins and smugly celebrates the triumph. But a delighted Bip continues to grow, ballooning until Bip is several times larger than Zip—and also somehow becoming light enough to blow away, rising into the stratosphere. Zip is helpless to save Bip. “Zip’s zaps are much too low!” Eventually, Bip effectuates a zap without Zip, becomes small again, and falls back toward Zip. But what luck! When Bip falls, the still-smiling being lands on a ball and is lucky enough to bounce up, up, up again and complete an amazing twisting triple somersault before safely landing. In the end as Bip takes a bow, Zip is forced to declare Bip the “best by far!” Prefacing this stand-alone story are boxes of word families, sight words, and bonus words to practice or review before reading. Most illustrations are compositionally simple, positioning Zip and Bip against plain white backgrounds, and most pages contain just one or two short rhyming sentences. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Zip and Bip have the touch to zap fun into early reading. (Graphic early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-8928-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021



Nice enough but not worth repeat reads.

Emma deals with jitters before playing the guitar in the school talent show.

Pop musician Kevin Jonas and his wife, Danielle, put performance at the center of their picture-book debut. When Emma is intimidated by her very talented friends, the encouragement of her younger sister, Bella, and the support of her family help her to shine her own light. The story is straightforward and the moral familiar: Draw strength from your family and within to overcome your fears. Employing the performance-anxiety trope that’s been written many times over, the book plods along predictably—there’s nothing really new or surprising here. Dawson’s full-color digital illustrations center a White-presenting family along with Emma’s three friends of color: Jamila has tanned skin and wears a hijab; Wendy has dark brown skin and Afro puffs; and Luis has medium brown skin. Emma’s expressive eyes and face are the real draw of the artwork—from worry to embarrassment to joy, it’s clear what she’s feeling. A standout double-page spread depicts Emma’s talent show performance, with a rainbow swirl of music erupting from an amp and Emma rocking a glam outfit and electric guitar. Overall, the book reads pretty plainly, buoyed largely by the artwork. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nice enough but not worth repeat reads. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35207-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022


An upbeat tale with a much-needed message: Imagination and positivity can save the day.

In this picture book from pop star Kevin Jonas and his wife, TV personality Danielle Jonas, a rainy day forces a child to find an alternate way to enjoy the beach.

Family beach day is one of Bella’s favorite things. She loves splashing in the waves, jumping from rock to rock, and building sand castles. Today, however, the weather isn’t cooperating, but Bella isn’t upset. “It will just have to stop raining. That’s all.” Disappointment sets in when her family tells her that beach day is off. Teary Bella rejects suggested indoor pastimes like board games, musical jam sessions, or reading stories together, and she retreats to her room. Dejected, Bella consoles herself with her stuffed bunny, Mr. Bonkers, until her parents and sister, Emma, knock on her door with a surprise: “BEDROOM BEACH DAY!” With just a few household items—a big lamp for the sun, a fan for the ocean breeze, a blue blanket for water, and pillows for rocks—and a large dose of imagination, Bella’s bedroom is transformed. A flexible attitude from all helps Bella—and readers—realize that things may not always go as planned…but sometimes they can be even better than we expected. Whimsical, cartoonish drawings and a dialogue-driven narrative turn a setback into an uplifting family experience. Bella and her family are light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An upbeat tale with a much-needed message: Imagination and positivity can save the day. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 11, 2023

ISBN: 9780593352106

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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