Next book

HUGSBY

Comforting and sincere, like every good hug.

A tender story of the bond between a girl and her pet monster.

Shelly’s pet monster, Hugsby, is her best friend. Each day Hugsby greets Shelly with a hug after she returns from school. When Shelly’s school announces a Pet Monster Show-and-Tell Day, she becomes determined to teach Hugsby a new trick. Hugsby makes several earnest attempts to learn something new, including juggling and dancing. Shelly remains patient throughout this process, despite Hugsby’s lack of success, and tells him she loves him anyway. On the big day, Shelly is intimidated by her classmates’ pet monsters and their many talents. She starts to introduce Hugsby but is nervous until he envelops her in one of his trademark hugs, a return of the unconditional love and support she’s always given him. This tale is a gentle reminder about accepting others for who they are and of the value of quiet strengths like compassion. Shelly’s anxiety about Hugsby’s absence of talent provides a mirror for children who may feel insecure about their own status. Rendered in a soothing color palette of soft pastels, the illustrations reinforce that warmth and kindness are at the heart of this story. Shelly is cued Asian with pale skin and black hair; her classmates are a diverse group with different skin tones and hair textures. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 62% of actual size.)

Comforting and sincere, like every good hug. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984835-98-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

Next book

IZZY GIZMO AND THE INVENTION CONVENTION

From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Next book

WOO HOO! YOU'RE DOING GREAT!

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones.

What’s better than a cheerleading chicken?

Are you ever blue, unsure, tired, or overworked? Do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed? This uplifting book, expressed in delightful, jaunty verse, explains how to lift your spirits pronto: What you need is a booster chicken telling you’re doing great even when you’re not so confident, as when you’re learning or practicing a new skill, for instance. Your feathered champion will be right there, encouraging you all the way, with a loud “WOO HOO!” that’ll keep you going and remove any doubt you’re super terrific. But what if your cheerful chick errs and doesn’t do what it set out to do? Don’t worry—your cheery chicken just needs a reminder that everyone makes mistakes. That alone is a pep talk, enhanced by the wisdom that making mistakes allows everyone to learn and demonstrate they did their best. So forgive yourself, chickens! But the best thing is…instead of relying on someone else—like a chicken—to strengthen your ego, say a generous daily “WOO HOO!” to yourself. This riotous book hits all the right notes and does so succinctly and hilariously. The energetic, comical illustrations, in Boynton’s signature style, will elicit giggles and go far to make the book’s important point. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

WOO-HOO! This is the perfect way to foster healthy self-esteem in little ones. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-316-48679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

Close Quickview