Lily and her beloved kangaroo (Where Are You, Blue Kangaroo, 2001, etc.) return in a tale of naughtiness and redemption. A recent spate of mischievousness has Lily in hot water with her mother until she hatches a sly plan to place the blame on her stuffed animal. Lily summarily lays each disaster—flooding the kitchen, driving the cat mad, launching her clothing out the window—at the stuffed feet of Blue Kangaroo. However, when she is sent to bed with out her best buddy, Lily has time for reflection. A remorseful note “written” by the kangaroo finds its way to Lily’s mother, and the pair is happily reunited. Clark convincingly portrays Lily’s relationship with Blue as interactive. Lily’s misadventures are observed by the patient Kangaroo, with commentary provided by the beast that is both humorous and a foreshadowing of Lily’s imminent mishaps. Clark exhibits a keen appreciation of how seemingly great ideas can turn into mini-disasters in the hands of small fry. Lily’s trials and tribulations are bound to resonate with young readers, while the loving resolution is gently reassuring and affirming. The colorful, detailed illustrations reflect the beguiling impishness of Lily and contain a subtle thread of wry humor—plus smaller, comically expressive inserts that depict Blue Kangaroo’s musings. An engaging cautionary tale about the importance of being truthful. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2002

ISBN: 0-385-74623-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2002


A spot-on series installment that imparts a valuable lesson on the importance of honesty.

Will Llama Llama come clean after breaking one of Mama’s prized possessions?

While Mama Llama gardens outdoors, Llama Llama and a friend who appears to be a young goat play inside. Their boisterous activities include pillow fighting, running up the stairs and sliding down the bannister, swinging from lamps, and jumping on the sofa—fun that is possible “Only when Mama is not there.” They move on to playing catch: Llama Llama throws vigorously, and the ball shatters Mama’s favorite picture frame. Uh-oh. What to do? The pair consider running to Kalamazoo. When Mama returns, Llama Llama first blames the wind, then a dinosaur, then a meteorite. Mama doubts these possibilities, and Llama Llama cries but admits to the lie. Mama praises his courage, and the three of them repair the frame. Later, throwing a pass outside, Mama breaks a window herself! With humor and sympathy, this tale brings to life a very common experience that will resonate with preschoolers. Mama reacts with model parenting, and Llama Llama quickly accepts the blame and the necessity of truth-telling. Morrow’s illustrations add both drama and a reassuring note. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A spot-on series installment that imparts a valuable lesson on the importance of honesty. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2023

ISBN: 9780593352489

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023


From the Kissing Hand series

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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