A gentle picture book about friendship, patience, and love.

THE LONGER THE WAIT, THE BIGGER THE HUG

From the Hedgehog & Friends series

All winter long, Hedgehog hibernates.

During this long sleep, Hedgehog dreams of Tortoise. Hedgehog and Tortoise are best friends, and the cold winter months are hard to survive without their usual best-friend hugs. When spring finally arrives, Hedgehog wakes up, eager to find Tortoise and to get that long-awaited hug. But Tortoise is missing, and no matter how hard Hedgehog looks, they can’t find their best friend. Although disappointed, Hedgehog tries to make the best of things. But Badger’s paws are too sticky to hold, Magpie turns out to be an extremely demanding beach playmate, and Squirrel is a disaster at hide-and-seek. Hedgehog keeps looking for Tortoise, but when Tortoise is still missing, Hedgehog starts to lose hope. Eventually, a wise owl advises Hedgehog that sometimes, if the wait is long, the reunion is especially rewarding—in other words, “the longer the wait, the bigger the hug.” Happily, Hedgehog’s patience pays off, and when Hedgehog and Tortoise are reunited (it turns out Tortoise slightly overslept), their first hug is as epic as Owl promised—so epic that the whole forest comes out to celebrate. This sweet, gentle picture book perfectly pairs sincere and humorous text with watercolor-and-pen sketches that utilize a soothing pastel palette. The storyline is simple, clean, and lively, and the book’s message makes it the perfect tool to start conversations about missing friends and family.

A gentle picture book about friendship, patience, and love. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-571-37038-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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