A clear and winning guide to a key social grace; share and repeat as necessary. (Board book. 1-4)

WILL BEAR SHARE?

Sharing can be fun, although it may have its limits.

Author/illustrator Leung poses a social and ethical dilemma in this book and a practical problem in the equally charming companion volume, Will Sheep Sleep? Bear has lots to offer, but will she? Consecutive double-page spreads offer a series of questions and answers: “Will Bear share her berries?” / “Yes.” / “Will Bear share her book?” / “Yes.” / “Will Bear share her toothbrush?” / “NO! Toothbrushes are not for sharing.” Bear and her adorable animal pals act out each vignette against lightly textured backgrounds of several different hues. The presentation is uncluttered and pleasing to the eye, and the simply rendered characters have abundant personality. The drama heats up when Bear is asked to share her favorite toy (after due deliberation, she does) and, finally, her ice cream. This, apparently, is where Bear draws her line in the sand, but when her coneful of ice cream lands on the ground, her hungry crocodile friend kindly consoles her. Fortunately, Ladybug comes to the rescue with a large berry cake to be shared by all. As Ladybug, Bear, and friends enjoy the cake, readers are asked, “What do you share?” The final panel, appropriately enough, shows Bear and her alligator friend brushing their teeth together, each with their own toothbrush, of course.

A clear and winning guide to a key social grace; share and repeat as necessary. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: May 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-21559-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A joyful celebration.

FAMILIES BELONG

Families in a variety of configurations play, dance, and celebrate together.

The rhymed verse, based on a song from the Noodle Loaf children’s podcast, declares that “Families belong / Together like a puzzle / Different-sized people / One big snuggle.” The accompanying image shows an interracial couple of caregivers (one with brown skin and one pale) cuddling with a pajama-clad toddler with light brown skin and surrounded by two cats and a dog. Subsequent pages show a wide array of families with members of many different racial presentations engaging in bike and bus rides, indoor dance parties, and more. In some, readers see only one caregiver: a father or a grandparent, perhaps. One same-sex couple with two children in tow are expecting another child. Smart’s illustrations are playful and expressive, curating the most joyful moments of family life. The verse, punctuated by the word together, frequently set in oversized font, is gently inclusive at its best but may trip up readers with its irregular rhythms. The song that inspired the book can be found on the Noodle Loaf website.

A joyful celebration. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22276-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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