An imaginative, fun ode to bus travel and its many minor surprises.

READ REVIEW

BUS! STOP!

A young bus rider’s misfortune turns weird and delightful in Yang’s playful picture book.

The title page sets the scene: passengers line up by a bright red bus-stop sign. Turn the page and see the back end of a moving bus as a boy runs after it. The boy, of course, doesn’t catch up. Meanwhile, some anthropomorphic triangles take their place at the bus stop, while a green vehicle peeks out on the right page. The subsequent double-page spread reveals a long, tall bus full of triangle-shaped passengers. Naturally, the boy is shocked. “THAT is NOT my bus.” The boy watches it roll away as cowboys and a cowgirl waltz into the scene. Their ride? It’s a covered wagon, big and long…like a bus. “It does not look like MY bus,” says the boy as the covered wagon retreats and in comes a trio of sailors. Yang establishes a pattern from the get-go, piling on the outlandish and the fab (a bounce house in a domed bus?) in broad strokes. Drab, square buildings serve as a city backdrop, while color and curves bring to life the buses and passengers (varied in skin color and shape—the protagonist is orangey-brown). The sparse text pops up in small bursts to punctuate the proceedings. When the boy takes a chance on a cool-looking balloon bus, it’s a small triumph.

An imaginative, fun ode to bus travel and its many minor surprises. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-425-28877-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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