FLORA’S BLANKET

When a wee bunny misplaces her beloved blanket, the entire family bands together for a search-and-rescue mission. Little Flora can't sleep a wink without her special blanket. With offers of replacements from her siblings summarily refused by the disconsolate bunny, everyone embarks upon a house- and yard-wide search. As the regular spots fail to turn up the elusive bedding, they begin to look about in nonsensical locations, such as inside the refrigerator and in the greenhouse. Alas, the rabbit clan wanders over house, hill, and dale in vain. When the fruitless search is ultimately called off, Flora's blanket is discovered in the likeliest (but overlooked) place—tucked into mommy and daddy's bed. Gliori's (DK Book of Nursery Rhymes, p. 182, etc.) simple but comical tale has just the right blend of reality and silliness to tickle tiny funnybones. Preschoolers can empathize with Flora's predicament while giggling over the bunny family's increasingly outlandish search. Full-page, full-bleed watercolor illustrations depict an irresistibly cute clan of cuddly rabbits (including one who can't keep his nose out of a book). Little ones will enjoy the notion that the rabbits' house looks remarkably like their own, only with special bunny touches—a carrot-filled vase centerpiece, a rabbit-shaped sand box, a carrot handle on the fridge door, and more. Perfect for any tot who has misplaced a favored comfort object and the scores of beleaguered parents who have been sent out on countless wild-goose chases. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-531-30305-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2001

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

THE HUG

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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GOSSIE

A sweet and silly pair of tales about an eccentric gosling and her newfound friend. In Gossie, Dunrea (Bear Noel, 2000, etc.) describes the fashionable fowl’s favorite pastime: strutting about in her snazzy red rainboots. Yet, when her boots mysteriously disappear one day, Gossie sets out to locate them—only to discover a kindred spirit in fellow gosling Gertie. Despite her adoration of her footwear, Gossie amends her perception of high fashion, determining that it’s more fun to share accessories with a friend than to be perfectly attired but all alone. Gossie & Gertie chronicles the loving relationship of the best pals. Clad in bright red and blue boots, respectively, Gossie and Gertie gallivant about in tandem: wherever Gossie wanders, Gertie is sure to follow. However, when Gertie ventures out on her own, Gossie learns the benefits of letting her friend occasionally take the lead. Dunrea’s tales are simply wrought and rendered, with the ink and watercolor illustrations capturing the quaint, whimsical charm of the stories. Situated against stark white backgrounds, the bright-hued vignettes communicate an abundance of expression in a few deft strokes. The potent combination of toddler-appealing story lines and the charismatic charm of the illustrations assure that these smartly clad geese will be marching straight into the hearts of readers. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2002

ISBN: 0-618-17674-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2002

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