A sweet take on the bumps in the road home for one shelter dog


Lucy may have been rescued from the animal shelter, but this pup takes time to adjust to her new, loving family.

The little girl in Lucy’s new family narrates the story of her fraught homecoming. At first, all is well as Lucy gets a tour of the house and backyard, but then the barking of a neighbor's dog scares her, and she hides under a bush. “I finally got Lucy to come out from behind the bush …That’s when the howling began.” In ensuing spreads, the family tries to comfort Lucy and quell her incessant howling. Ultimately, the girl lovingly gives up her “favorite stuffed animal,” which seems to do the trick. She tries to draw the line when Lucy wants another toy, but she gives in and then her parents add to Lucy’s collection, which amounts to, “… four dogs, two bears, two kittens, and one giraffe.” While having this bevy of toys soothes Lucy, their number leads to new trouble when she can’t find them all at bedtime. The girl helps her, though, and she isn’t at all put out, saying, “ ‘Good night, my perfect puppy!’ ” at book’s end. Throughout, cheery, cartoon-style illustrations depict the scenes with the good addition of hand-lettered text to highlight Lucy’s howling. The pages are filled with tiny iterations of "WAH-OOO-OOO," the letters filling readers’ eyes even as the sounds fill Lucy's family's home.

A sweet take on the bumps in the road home for one shelter dog . (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-60905-187-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Apple

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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Willems’ formula is still a winner.


From the Pigeon series

The pigeon is back, and he is filthy!

Readers haven’t seen the pigeon for a couple of years, not since The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? (2012), and apparently he hasn’t bathed in all that time. Per the usual routine, the bus driver (clad in shower cap and bathrobe) opens the story by asking readers to help convince the pigeon to take a bath. Though he’s covered in grime, the obstreperous bird predictably resists. He glares at readers and suggests that maybe they need baths. With the turn of the page, Willems anticipates readers’ energetic denials: The pigeon demands, “YEAH! When was the last time YOU had a bath?!” Another beat allows children to supply the answer. “Oh.” A trio of flies that find him repulsive (“P.U.!”) convinces him it’s time. One spread with 29 separate panels depicts the pigeon adjusting the bath (“Too wet!…Too cold.…Too reflective”) before the page turn reveals him jumping in with a spread-filling “SPLASH!” Readers accustomed to the pigeon formula will note that here the story breaks from its normal rhythms; instead of throwing a tantrum, the pigeon discovers what readers already know: “This is FUN!” All the elements are in place, including page backgrounds that modulate from dirty browns to fresh, clean colors and endpapers that bookend the story (including a very funny turnabout for the duckling, here a rubber bath toy).

Willems’ formula is still a winner. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9087-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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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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