Emotionally charged but never manipulative, Bunny’s story and the story of World War I bravery will not be soon forgotten.

BUNNY THE BRAVE WAR HORSE

BASED ON A TRUE STORY

Can a horse named Bunny ever be a war horse?

It’s World War I, and horses, especially police horses, are needed for the war effort. Canada is a long way from the battlefields of Belgium, but Bunny the police horse and police officers Thomas and Bud Dundas, brothers, join the war effort. On the very first day, men and horses are put to the test with mustard gas. It’s clear that Bunny is up to the challenge. Bunny is assigned to Bud, and together, they deliver messages and carry wounded soldiers off the battlefields. Other horses are shown pulling ambulances and artillery. The gravity of war is made clear, especially when Bud is killed in combat, leaving brother Tom bereft. Bunny and Tom team up and are still alive at the end of the war. Gentle, muted tones provide the right balance for this historically rooted tale of bravery, loss and love. Though the skyline might show puffs of smoke left over from shelling, the foreground tells the story of the dedication of both horse and rider. The final spread, though lit with the hope of the war’s end, is tinged with sadness: Bunny, like all the war horses from Canada, has been sold to farmers in Belgium, and Tom voyages home alone. The endnotes provide ample extra information for young historians.

Emotionally charged but never manipulative, Bunny’s story and the story of World War I bravery will not be soon forgotten. (map) (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-77138-024-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale.

A TRUE HOME

From the Heartwood Hotel series , Vol. 1

An orphan mouse unexpectedly arrives at Heartwood Hotel, which she hopes will become the home she’s seeking.

Mona’s never had a home for long. After a storm forces her to flee her latest forest shelter, she discovers an enormous tree with a heart carved into its trunk. When Mona presses the heart, a door opens, and she enters the lobby of Heartwood Hotel, where small forest critters hibernate, eat, and celebrate in safety. The kindhearted badger proprietor, Mr. Heartwood, takes pity on homeless Mona, allowing her to stay for the fall to assist the maid, Tilly, a red squirrel. Grateful to be at Heartwood, Mona strives to prove herself despite Tilly’s unfriendly attitude. Mona’s clever approaches with a wounded songbird, an anxious skunk, and a wayward bear win Mr. Heartwood’s approval. But when Mona accidentally breaks a rule, Tilly convinces her she will be fired. As Mona secretly leaves Heartwood, she discovers marauding wolves planning to crash Heartwood’s Snow Festival and devises a daring plan to save the place she regards as home. Charming anthropomorphic characters, humorous mishaps, and outside threats add to the drama. Delicate pencil illustrations reinforce Heartwood’s cozy home theme. A sequel, The Greatest Gift, publishes simultaneously.

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3161-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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