The appealingly drawn characters and settings help make the pill of compromise go down without too much difficulty



From the Moe and Peanut series

For two cartoon friends, patience and participation are key to making this camping trip a success.

As Peanut and Moe leave their house, Peanut wants to know if they can go swimming. “Not yet,” says Moe, who is clearly into the logistics of the adventure, in counterpoint to Peanut’s pleasure-principle–driven spontaneity. They go for a hike, do some bird-watching, and have a snack, all the while the increasingly frantic Peanut wants to get in the water. “Now?” “Now?” “Now!” Peanut asks and then demands as Moe seeks to establish camp, ready the tent and the fire, and unpack their packs. “Not yet.” “Not yet.” “Not yet!” Finally, Moe stalks off in a huff as Peanut actively if unconsciously subverts the setting-up of camp. Left alone, and aware of Moe’s frustration, Peanut gets the camp into tip-top shape. Moe sneaks back into camp and yells “NOW!” and the fun begins. Peanut’s arrangement of camp makes the après-swim a pleasure, as they are cozy in their towels, warmed by the fire, and happy to have their meal, and best of all come the s’mores. In Perry’s illustrations, Moe looks like an elongated blue marshmallow with limbs and a long, pink nose, while Peanut looks like their namesake, but with long ears.

The appealingly drawn characters and settings help make the pill of compromise go down without too much difficulty . (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-101-91952-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.


A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life.

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An inspirational picture book offers life advice for readers who want to be themselves.

Replete with sparkling, often quirky illustrations of children living their best lives, this book is a gorgeous guidebook for those seeking encouragement while encountering life’s challenges. The children featured—a racially diverse group ranging from infants to preschoolers—cheerfully navigate the various injunctions that flow through the text: “Be curious.…Be adventurous.…Be persistent.…Be kind.” What is remarkable about the book is that even though the instructions and the brief sentences explaining them are at times vague, the illustrations expand on them in ways readers will find endearing and uplifting. Those depicting painful or challenging moments are especially effective. The “Be persistent” double-page spread shows a child in a boat on stormy seas; it’s rich with deep blues as it emphasizes the energy of wind and rain and struggle in the face of challenge. Together with the accompanying repeated phrase “Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop,” this spread arrests readers. By contrast, the “Be kind. Be understanding” spread simply presents two children’s faces, one cast in blue and the other in gold, but the empathy that Reynolds conveys is similarly captivating. While there is no plot to pull readers through the pages, the book provides rich fodder for caregivers to use as teachable moments, both informally and in classroom settings.

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-57231-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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