It’s certainly accessible for very young children, but it carries an odd message: Should we be friends only with those...

READ REVIEW

BECAUSE YOU ARE MY FRIEND

A bear's best friend is his Mommy, until he's old enough to find his own.

When Snowy the polar bear is a cub, he and his Mommy do everything together, playing and fishing and snuggling late at night in their cave. But one day, when he is old enough, Mommy tells Snowy that it's time to find a new friend. He tries a giant sea gull, a seal swimming under the ice and a long line of tottering penguins, none of whom prove to be a good match. The penguins all want to be Snowy's friend and begin a loud squabbling that drives Snowy away. The venerable walrus is almost just right—he lets Snowy slide down his back—but declares himself too old to be any fun for a young bear. Then, unexpectedly, when he's just resting against a snowdrift, Snowy is approached shyly by another young polar bear named Spotty. At the exact same moment, they both ask, "Would you like to be my friend?" And this, of course, is the perfect match. Van Genechten's characters look like stuffed animals, smiling and gentle. He uses backgrounds of baby blue and pink, dotted with flakes of snow. And Snowy is flocked, like wallpaper, for a little extra reader appeal.

It’s certainly accessible for very young children, but it carries an odd message: Should we be friends only with those exactly like us? (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-60537-095-8

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: Aug. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers are likely to love it to the moon and back.

WILL YOU BE MY FRIEND?

Little Nutbrown Hare ventures out into the wide world and comes back with a new companion in this sequel to Guess How Much I Love You (1994).

Big Nutbrown Hare is too busy, so after asking permission, Little Nutbrown Hare scampers off over the rolling meadow to play by himself. After discovering that neither his shadow nor his reflection make satisfactory playmates (“You’re only another me!”), Little Nutbrown comes to Cloudy Mountain…and meets “Someone real!” It’s a white bunny who introduces herself as Tipps. But a wonderful round of digging and building and chasing about reaches an unexpected end with a game of hide-and-seek, because both hares hide! After waiting a long time to be found, Little Nutbrown Hare hops on home in disappointment, wondering whether he’ll ever see Tipps again. As it turns out, it doesn’t take long to find out, since she has followed him. “Now, where on earth did she come from?” wonders Big Nutbrown. “Her name is Tipps,” Little Nutbrown proudly replies, “and she’s my friend.” Jeram’s spacious, pale-toned, naturalistic outdoor scenes create a properly idyllic setting for this cozy development in a tender child-caregiver relationship—which hasn’t lost a bit of its appealing intimacy in the more than 25 years since its first appearance. As in the first, Big Nutbrown Hare is ungendered, facilitating pleasingly flexible readings.

Readers are likely to love it to the moon and back. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1747-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

Banal affirmation buoyed by charming illustrations.

I BELIEVE I CAN

Diversity is the face of this picture book designed to inspire confidence in children.

Fans of Byers and Bobo’s I Am Enough (2018) will enjoy this book that comes with a universal message of self-acceptance. A line of children practices ballet at the barre; refreshingly, two of the four are visibly (and adorably) pudgy. Another group tends a couple of raised beds; one of them wears hijab. Two more children coax a trepidatious friend down a steep slide. Further images, of children pretending to be pirates, dragons, mimes, playing superhero and soccer, and cooking, are equally endearing, but unfortunately they don’t add enough heft to set the book apart from other empowerment books for children. Though the illustrations shine, the text remains pedagogic and bland. Clichés abound: “When I believe in myself, there’s simply nothing I can’t do”; “Sometimes I am right, and sometimes I am wrong. / But even when I make mistakes, I learn from them to make me strong.” The inclusion of children with varying abilities, religions, genders, body types, and racial presentations creates an inviting tone that makes the book palatable. It’s hard to argue with the titular sentiment, but this is not the only book of its ilk on the shelf.

Banal affirmation buoyed by charming illustrations. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-266713-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more