HORSE & BUGGY ON WHEELS!

From the I Like To Read series

Young fans of action and dramatic upsets will enjoy this romp while possibly learning a bit of caution.

A skateboarding creature learns to practice a challenging skill by tackling the easy steps first.

“Buggy,” the cautious horsefly who befriended the cavalier main character in earlier books, watches, with two long-lashed, bulging eyes and downturned mouth, as Horse tries tricky skateboarding maneuvers and repeatedly falls and hurts himself. Each time, Buggy worriedly suggests a safety measure: a properly adjusted helmet, gloves, knee pads, etc. Horse accepts all suggestions, each time confidently claiming “I am REALLY ready” and “I will not get hurt” but always managing to fall next on an unprotected anatomical area. Then Horse gets a rope and wraps every part in whole-body padding. Alas, that doesn’t work, either: An especially twisty move undoes it all. Horse finally appropriates Buggy’s original sensible idea—learn easy tricks first, then try more difficult ones—before announcing a final idea: “TO THE POOL!” Buggy is extra alarmed until, on the final page, we see Horse not skating in an empty concrete basin but soaking a very bruised body in blue water. The words are manageable; tension is maintained without too much predictability; pratfalls produce laughs. The illustrations are cartoon-style against orange and mustard-yellow fields, with lots of crashes (“bonk,” “whoop,” “wham”) emphasized by exaggerated facial expressions registering Horse’s excitement, pain, and frustration.

Young fans of action and dramatic upsets will enjoy this romp while possibly learning a bit of caution. (Easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2024

ISBN: 9780823454839

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2023

NOT ME!

An early reader that kids will want to befriend.

In an odd-couple pairing of Bear and Chipmunk, only one friend is truly happy to spend the day at the beach.

“Not me!” is poor Chipmunk’s lament each time Bear expresses the pleasure he takes in sunning, swimming, and other activities at the beach. While controlled, repetitive text makes the story accessible to new readers, slapstick humor characterizes the busy watercolor-and-ink illustrations and adds interest. Poor Chipmunk is pinched by a crab, buried in sand, and swept upside down into the water, to name just a few mishaps. Although other animal beachgoers seem to notice Chipmunk’s distress, Bear cheerily goes about his day and seems blithely ignorant of his friend’s misfortunes. The playful tone of the illustrations helps soften the dynamic so that it doesn’t seem as though Chipmunk is in grave danger or that Bear is cruel. As they leave at the end of the book Bear finally asks, “Why did you come?” and Chipmunk’s sweet response caps off the day with a warm sunset in the background.

An early reader that kids will want to befriend. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3546-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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NANETTE'S BAGUETTE

Laugh-out-loud fun for all.

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Hilarious complications ensue when Nanette’s mom gives her the responsibility of buying the family baguette.

She sets out on her errand and encounters lots of distractions along the way as she meets and greets Georgette, Suzette, Bret with his clarinet, Mr. Barnett and his pet, Antoinette. But she remembers her mission and buys the baguette from Juliette the baker. And oh, it is a wonderful large, warm, aromatic hunk of bread, so Nanette takes a taste and another and more—until there is nothing left. Maybe she needs to take a jet to Tibet. But she faces her mother and finds understanding, tenderness, and a surprise twist. Willems is at his outlandish best with line after line of “ettes” and their absurd rhymes, all the while demonstrating a deep knowledge of children’s thought processes. Nanette and the entire cast of characters are bright green frogs with very large round eyes, heavily outlined in black and clad in eccentric clothing and hats. A highly detailed village constructed of cardboard forms the background for Nanette’s adventures. Her every emotion explodes all over the pages in wildly expressive, colorful vignettes and an eye-popping use of emphatic display type. The endpapers follow the fate of the baguette from fresh and whole to chewed and gone. Demands for encores will surely follow.

Laugh-out-loud fun for all. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4847-2286-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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