An enduring friendship wins the day in this chapter-book adventure.

SYDNEY & TAYLOR EXPLORE THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD

From the Sydney & Taylor series , Vol. 1

At every turn of events, the title characters’ personalities seem to shift and reverse.

Sydney and Taylor live in a burrow under Miss Nancy’s potting shed. Sydney is a skunk who loves to sit quietly and listen to the sounds of the world above. Taylor is a hedgehog who longs to travel and explore the world beyond the burrow. Sydney cares about his friend and wants him to be happy, so he agrees to an expedition. Almost immediately, however, Taylor becomes nervous and worries that his fear of new things and strangers will overcome him; Sydney staunchly reassures him. Although they have never even met Miss Nancy and know nothing of what waits beyond her fence, they set off feeling “wild and fearless and free.” At first Taylor is the brave one, mapping the route and leading the way. But with every new encounter Taylor’s fright takes over, and it is Sydney who provides leadership and solutions. To their great relief—and with a little help from Miss Nancy—the intrepid adventurers arrive home safely. Davies describes the action with verve, humor, and compassion, employing vivid, expressive syntax as she focuses on the characters’ nonfussy, genuine friendship and the shifts in their dynamic. Hocking’s very carefully rendered, brightly colored illustrations closely follow the events, capturing the friends’ personalities and their every emotion; their burrow, seen in an early cross-section, is a delight unto itself.

An enduring friendship wins the day in this chapter-book adventure. (Fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-10631-9

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A close encounter of the best kind.

FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON

Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn’t as lifeless as it looks.

While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare’s wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous.

A close encounter of the best kind. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4253-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more