By no means is this an introduction to the fairy tale. The book would be best used as a guessing game or a writing device...

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THE THREE BEARS ABC

AN ALPHABET BOOK

Can the classic story of Goldilocks be parsed into an alphabet book—successfully?

The answer is yes and no. The adaptation singles out key words to construct an alliterative alphabet tale that follows the original plot, but not all are logical choices. Some are obvious, while some are forced. Successful examples include “B is for bears. There were three bears—Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and Baby Bear, who were in bed” and “G is for a girl named Goldilocks.” But it’s hard to stretch the conceit out over 26 letters. “E is for exit. Everyone exited.” “I is for inside, where Goldilocks went.” K is for kitchen; Q is for question; T is for ta-dah (upon Baby Bear’s discovery of Goldilocks); U is for up (Goldilocks jumps up); V is for very (frightened); X “marks the exact spot where she landed” (after jumping out of the window). The sprightly, vividly colored illustrations are comic in style, with the bears wearing clothing and Goldilocks sporting a wild mane of blonde hair (it is worth noting that her skin is light brown). Each alphabet letter is in a large, blocky display type with a faux–wood grain look.

By no means is this an introduction to the fairy tale. The book would be best used as a guessing game or a writing device for kids who already know the story. (Picture book/fairy tale. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 9780807579046

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Superficially appealing; much less so upon closer examination.

TOO MANY CARROTS

When Rabbit’s unbridled mania for collecting carrots leaves him unable to sleep in his cozy burrow, other animals offer to put him up.

But to Rabbit, their homes are just more storage space for carrots: Tortoise’s overstuffed shell cracks open; the branch breaks beneath Bird’s nest; Squirrel’s tree trunk topples over; and Beaver’s bulging lodge collapses at the first rainstorm. Impelled by guilt and the epiphany that “carrots weren’t for collecting—they were for SHARING!” Rabbit invites his newly homeless friends into his intact, and inexplicably now-roomy, burrow for a crunchy banquet. This could be read (with some effort) as a lightly humorous fable with a happy ending, and Hudson’s depictions of carrot-strewn natural scenes, of Rabbit as a plush bunny, and of the other animals as, at worst, mildly out of sorts support that take. Still, the insistent way Rabbit keeps forcing himself on his friends and the magnitude of the successive disasters may leave even less-reflective readers disturbed. Moreover, as Rabbit is never seen actually eating a carrot, his stockpiling looks a lot like the sort of compulsive hoarding that, in humans, is regarded as a mental illness.

Superficially appealing; much less so upon closer examination. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62370-638-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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