This lesson on gossip and rumors goes down like a spoonful of sugar.

MISS FOX'S CLASS GETS IT WRONG

When her class starts to see Miss Fox in the frequent company of Officer Blue Fox, rumors start to fly that their teacher is in trouble with the law.

Young Bear sees the officer stop Miss Fox on her bike. He tells his classmates. Then Frog sees the policeman escorting his teacher into the police station. He shares, as well. And when the class starts seeing the pair together more often, the rumors and gossip really get going. They wonder why she is in so much trouble—after all, “Miss Fox believe[s] in peace. And in recycling.” They spy her in a floppy red hat and sunglasses “disguise” and then spot her placing a suitcase in her car. But the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back is the travel brochure on Miss Fox’s desk. They rush to assure their beloved teacher (who is accompanied by Officer Blue Fox!) that they will visit her in jail. Adults, and some children, will see the resolution coming a mile away. But their teacher cannot leave for her honeymoon without one last lesson about getting all the facts straight before spreading stories about other people. Kennedy’s anthropomorphized multi-species cast of characters is as charming and expressive as ever, especially when envisioning Miss Fox in black-and-white stripes. Sly clues sprinkled throughout point readers to the big reveal at the end.

This lesson on gossip and rumors goes down like a spoonful of sugar. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8075-5165-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Caldecott Honor Book

CREEPY CARROTS!

Kids know vegetables can be scary, but rarely are edible roots out to get someone. In this whimsical mock-horror tale, carrots nearly frighten the whiskers off Jasper Rabbit, an interloper at Crackenhopper Field.

Jasper loves carrots, especially those “free for the taking.” He pulls some in the morning, yanks out a few in the afternoon, and comes again at night to rip out more. Reynolds builds delicious suspense with succinct language that allows understatements to be fully exploited in Brown’s hilarious illustrations. The cartoon pictures, executed in pencil and then digitally colored, are in various shades of gray and serve as a perfectly gloomy backdrop for the vegetables’ eerie orange on each page. “Jasper couldn’t get enough carrots … / … until they started following him.” The plot intensifies as Jasper not only begins to hear the veggies nearby, but also begins to see them everywhere. Initially, young readers will wonder if this is all a product of Jasper’s imagination. Was it a few snarling carrots or just some bathing items peeking out from behind the shower curtain? The ending truly satisfies both readers and the book’s characters alike. And a lesson on greed goes down like honey instead of a forkful of spinach.

Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0297-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There’s nothing especially new here, but the good-natured celebration of books, reading, and libraries will charm fellow...

THE BOOK HOG

A porcine hoarder of books learns to read—and to share.

The Book Hog’s obsession is clear from the start. Short declarative sentences describe his enthusiasm (“The Book Hog loved books”), catalog the things he likes about the printed page, and eventually reveal his embarrassing secret (“He didn’t know how to read”). While the text is straightforward, plenty of amusing visual details will entertain young listeners. A picture of the Book Hog thumbing through a book while seated on the toilet should induce some giggles. The allusive name of a local bookshop (“Wilbur’s”) as well as the covers of a variety of familiar and much-loved books (including some of the author’s own) offer plenty to pore over. And the fact that the titles become legible only after our hero learns to read is a particularly nice touch. A combination of vignettes, single-page illustrations and double-page spreads that feature Pizzoli’s characteristic style—heavy black outlines, a limited palette of mostly salmon and mint green, and simple shapes—move the plot along briskly. Librarians will appreciate the positive portrayal of Miss Olive, an elephant who welcomes the Book Hog warmly to storytime, though it’s unlikely most will be able to match her superlative level of service.

There’s nothing especially new here, but the good-natured celebration of books, reading, and libraries will charm fellow bibliophiles, and the author’s fans will enjoy making another anthropomorphic animal friend. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-03689-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more