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From the Somos8 series

An enticing cautionary tale about the dangers of putting on airs.

Is it better to be a pompous prince or a humble pig?

Pig finds a crown in the grass, declares himself a prince, and sets off on an adventure, much to the irritation of his friends. In Pig’s vivid imagination, Lizard becomes a dragon that Pig needs to subdue, Squirrel is a princess whom Pig attempts to rescue…with disastrous results, and Donkey becomes Pig’s steed before Pig is unceremoniously bucked off. The porcine prince orders other forest friends to sing, dance, and bow to him; soon, everyone is tired of imperious Pig. But then they hear cries for help. Little Mouse has fallen into the turbulent river, and none of the friends can rescue him. Dramatically leaping from a tree branch and flipping three times in the air before splashing into the river, Pig saves Little Mouse. Because of his bravery, the forest friends are now ready to acknowledge Pig’s royal standing, but Pig comes to his senses and is finally embarrassed by his past arrogant behavior. He is happy to just be Pig, and that makes his friends happy, too. This simple yet fun tale is full of humor. Colorful, detailed illustrations capture the beauty of nature and the friends’ varied emotions as they struggle with Pig’s egotistical demands and rejoice at his reformation. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An enticing cautionary tale about the dangers of putting on airs. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 23, 2023

ISBN: 9788419253460

Page Count: 44

Publisher: NubeOcho

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023

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From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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From the Big Bright Feelings series

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings (. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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