You needn’t be a dog owner to identify with this expertly wrought tale of physical and emotional relief.

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Cool ocean breezes prove to be the perfect antidote to city burnout in this loving doggy tale.

On a hot summer’s day in a metropolis reminiscent of New York, a middle-aged human and a wiener dog run errands. But today the little dog is feeling overwhelmed by the crowds and the heat. Spare text reveals their unhappiness: “too close! too loud! too much! THAT’S IT!” The dog digs in their heels, refusing to go any further. The owner sympathizes and immediately whisks the little dog away. Not simply off the streets, but from a train to a boat to an island, “wild and long and low.” After a day playing by the sea (and encountering what turns out to be a seal), they return to the city, where the world has cooled down and the two can come home to dinner and a sleep filled with dreams of seals. Salati expertly captures the stifling claustrophobia of hot and crowded city streets. One can almost feel the palpable temperature shift when the colors on the pages move from vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows to blues and greens, like a tonal reprieve. Happily, the book avoids demonizing cities in favor of the country, showing instead how a bad day affects your every sense. Spare poetic text also perfectly captures this small canine’s mindset. The dog’s human presents as White; other characters are diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

You needn’t be a dog owner to identify with this expertly wrought tale of physical and emotional relief. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 24, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-5933-0843-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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


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

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A winning tale about finding new friends.


Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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