SERGIO MAKES A SPLASH!

Sergio the Argentinian penguin loves drinking, splashing and playing with water, but he can’t swim—which makes for some anxious moments when his class takes a field trip to the ocean. Screwing his courage to the sticking place after agonies of indecision (“It’s scary!” “It’s just water!” “It’s dark!” “It’s clear!”), he tumbles clumsily down the cliff and with a huge splash disappears completely. Using pale, thinly applied woodblock inks and digital media, Rodriguez creates very simple-looking scenes featuring a tubby, long-beaked penguin (outfitted with snorkel, goggles and floaties on both wings) diving into a glassy turquoise sea. Eventually Sergio rises with another mighty splash and proceeds to have a ball. Maybe next time he’ll leave off the floaties? “Sergio will have to think about that….” Sergio comes with his own website, but a celebrity like Olivia he’s not—more of an everypenguin, whose angst in the face of new experiences will strike a chord in many young children. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-316-06616-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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DOGERELLA

In this version of the Cinderella story, the familiar structure is cleverly reworked to fit the mid-level early-reader format. An adorable pug puppy appears as Cinderella in Wu’s illustrations, while the stepmother is a haughty, white poodle and the stepsisters are an unfriendly chow and an aloof Afghan. Rather than a prince searching for a bride, a pampered princess named Bea wants a puppy for her seventh birthday. Her parents decide to have a ball for all the dogs in the kingdom so that Bea can choose her favorite as her pet. A purple-haired Fairy Dogmother helps Dogerella, providing a sparkly collar spelling out the dog’s name as well as a mini-van to get to the ball. The collar is left behind at the ball as the parallel element to the glass slipper and is of course a perfect fit for Dogerella in the conclusion. The combination of dozens of dogs, an earnest princess and a touch of magic add up to a charming whole. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 24, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-375-83393-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2008

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THE LAMB WHO CAME FOR DINNER

A sweet iteration of the “Big Bad Wolf Mellows Out” theme. Here, an old wolf does some soul searching and then learns to like vegetable stew after a half-frozen lamb appears on his doorstep, falls asleep in his arms, then wakes to give him a kiss. “I can’t eat a lamb who needs me! I might get heartburn!” he concludes. Clad in striped leggings and a sleeveless pullover decorated with bands of evergreens, the wolf comes across as anything but dangerous, and the lamb looks like a human child in a fleecy overcoat. No dreams are likely to be disturbed by this book, but hardened members of the Oshkosh set might prefer the more credible predators and sense of threat in John Rocco’s Wolf! Wolf! (March 2007) or Delphine Perrot’s Big Bad Wolf and Me (2006). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-58925-067-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2007

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