Certainly not evocative of a real firefighter’s job, but absurd situations will elicit storytime giggles.


Three little ducks have a very dangerous—and silly—job to do.

Firefighter duckies must be brave and strong. With sirens blaring, they race toward peril, never knowing who might need saving. Sometimes it is a gorilla, with a chef hat on fire (watch out for those pesky cupcake candles). Or perhaps it is two lemurs tangled in a tree. But whatever the case, they are ready. Because, as the repeating refrain reminds readers, they are brave and strong. To be shouted boldly: “They are the FIREFIGHTER DUCKIES!” But sometimes all of these situations can just be too much. How are they supposed to rescue dinosaurs on bicycles (their arms just can’t reach the handlebars) or rampaging centipedes (they crawl around yelling, “Rampage!”)? Instead of being brave and strong, they just might need to be helpful and kind. They offer solutions to the despairing creatures—the dinosaurs should roller skate instead; the centipedes should munch on some delicious leaves. Dormer’s three fowl friends have comically large beaks and tiny spindly legs. Their expressive faces (which take up most of their bodies) run the gamut from proud through shocked and exasperated to sleepy. Even their firetruck is brimming with personality.

Certainly not evocative of a real firefighter’s job, but absurd situations will elicit storytime giggles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6090-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Uplifting and inspiring of further research.


A bilingual love poem of admiration and respect for the millions of monarch butterflies that journey south to Mexico every year.

From a chrysalis on the title page, Señorita Mariposa invites readers to follow the monarch butterfly as it embarks on a journey spanning thousands of miles, “Over mountains capped with snow… / To the deserts down below.” In the same manner, the monarch butterfly exiting the chrysalis at the end of the book then invites readers to flip back to the beginning and restart the journey. Almada Rivero’s warm and friendly illustrations showcase the various people and animals the monarch encounters in its 3,000-mile journey, including a couple of brown-skinned children who welcome Señorita Mariposa to Mexico as the text reads, “Can’t believe how far you’ve come.” Gundersheimer’s recounting of the lepidoptera’s journey is told in a bilingual poem, English set in a serif type and Spanish set in sans-serif. Like the butterfly traveling south and north, the languages switch prominence, displaying in the larger font the principal—and rhyming—language in each spread. Although at times distracting, this technique is a valiant attempt to give equal importance to each language. Backmatter includes facts on the round trip the butterflies undertake, the “super generation” that makes the trek south, and a call to action to protect the monarchs as they slowly lose their habitats.

Uplifting and inspiring of further research. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4070-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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A cozy read for bibliophiles.


With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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