New readers will be happy to yap along with this pup. How about a sequel? (Picture book/early reader. 3-7)

PUG

From the I Like To Read series

“Yap yap yap” has never been so expressive or so insistent.

Pug wants to go out, but it's snowing and no one wants to walk the dog. Using just 11 one-syllable words, Long tells a complete story that is familiar to any dog owner. The sentences follow a predictable, subject-verb-object pattern. The longest sentence is just four words long (“Pug wants to go”). The few words are repeated often, making this a confidence builder for the youngest beginning readers. Pug exudes energy, beginning on the frontmatter display of nine digitally manipulated images of this dog, which has the characteristic tightly curled tail and broad, flat, wrinkled muzzle of the breed. Young children will quickly chime in on Pug’s “yap yap yap” refrain, which dominates the pages. Charming and clutter-free illustrations match the brief text and add information for picture readers to glean. The humans—Dad, Mom, and Tad—are equally easy to read. On the final page the pugnacious pet's persistence wins out. When Pug finally catches up to Peg, both dogs and owners look shyly pleased to be walking together. Tad is white, while Peg's owner is curly-haired and brown-skinned. Perhaps a friendship is blooming.

New readers will be happy to yap along with this pup. How about a sequel? (Picture book/early reader. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3645-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

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TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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