Tender and charming.

READ REVIEW

HOW TO SHARE WITH A BEAR

Thomas makes a cozy cave that attracts a small bear.

Creative and clever, Thomas uses pillows, blankets, and seat cushions for his living room hideaway. But he needs a few more items to make it perfect. When he returns to the cave, he hears bumps and thumps and discovers a bear has taken up residence. He leaves a trail of blueberries to entice the bear to leave, and it works—temporarily. Thomas tries everything he can think of that might appeal to a bear to lure it away for good. A back scratcher, some bath toys, and some honey cereal all produce the same temporary results. When Thomas manages to get into the cave to read, the bear can’t squeeze in and starts to cry. Kind Thomas takes pity, builds a larger cave, and shares it with the bear, who readers finally see is actually his adoring little brother. Pinder employs accessible, descriptive language to lead Thomas to his generous conclusion, without becoming preachy or cloying. Young readers may be surprised at the identity of the bear, but there are several visual hints and lots of delightful details to be found in Graegin’s illustrations. Glowing shades of yellow, blue, and bear-brown on a soft, light sepia background surround satisfyingly legible text. At the conclusion, little ones are given simple instructions for building their own caves.

Tender and charming. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30019-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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