Young readers will love the moment when Moe turns from snail to human child.

READ REVIEW

SLOW MOE

A sweet harangue against the failings of little siblings everywhere.

They are too slow; they are too messy; they take away too much attention from everyone, especially parents. As the protagonist lists little brother Moe’s failings, he appears as a giant snail placidly spooning Cheerios one by one into his mouth and leaving an impressive trail of slime and discarded items in his wake. However, when adults are not around, younger siblings can be fun. It is when the protagonist is alone with Moe that his joyful, exuberant, human-self emerges. Kid Moe runs fast, and his favorite game is tag. He also plays basketball and hopscotch, jumps rope, and climbs the monkey bars. The book is filled with wonderful details: Mom’s raised eyebrows, Dad’s striped socks and no shoes, and the protagonist’s fiercely crossed arms. Slow Moe the snail takes up at least a quarter of the couch, and the stairway carpet drips through the railings (or is that more slime?). Lent Roland, the French edition, publishes simultaneously, and Rachel Martinez’s translation offers some delights absent from the original, such as the title character’s contrast with his 11th-century literary forebear. In either language, the title character reminds readers that we are different people depending upon whom we are with and that familial relationships are complex and simple at the same time. Characters appear to be white.

Young readers will love the moment when Moe turns from snail to human child. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4598-2352-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more