A fully rounded, easily associative, and visually inviting story.

READ REVIEW

NO MORE CUDDLES!

As everybody knows, a bigfoot likes his privacy, even if he is built to cuddle: snuggly, soft, and silky (at least those bigfeet like Barry, who evidently knows about bathing).

Chapman’s Sasquatch-esque creature Barry is a furry behemoth who attracts a large woodland following: squirrels, mice, badgers, rabbits, beavers, even owls, and a turtle, who come for a cuddle and “snuggle-buggle.” But Barry, though accommodating, sometimes feels overwhelmed: “I just want to be alone,” he mumbles to himself, careful not to offend. A sudden brainstorm suggests itself: a stand-in. After a ladybug, a porcupine, and a skunk are found wanting, Barry hires Bear. When Bear is presented to the cuddling horde, they rush at him—then past him, straight at Barry, who promptly gets bowled over and lands in the swamp. It’s amazing what the properties of swamp water will do to the qualities of cuddliness. In its clarity and good humor, Chapman’s story jells, and the whole cast are sympathetic souls. Who doesn’t like to cuddle? Who doesn’t like a little tranquility now and then? The artwork is snug, too, from the endpapers to the interior, featuring pages saturated with Easter-egg color, as well as others that highlight a bold image settled on a field of white.

A fully rounded, easily associative, and visually inviting story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1848691476

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: April 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

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A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year.

LOVE MONSTER AND THE LAST CHOCOLATE

From the Love Monster series

The surprised recipient of a box of chocolates agonizes over whether to eat the whole box himself or share with his friends.

Love Monster is a chocoholic, so when he discovers the box on his doorstep, his mouth waters just thinking about what might be inside; his favorite’s a double chocolate strawberry swirl. The brief thought that he should share these treats with his friends is easily rationalized away. Maybe there won’t be enough for everyone, perhaps someone will eat his favorite, or, even worse, leave him with his least favorite: the coffee one! Bright’s pacing and tone are on target throughout, her words conveying to readers exactly what the monster is thinking and feeling: “So he went into his house. And so did the box of chocolates…without a whisper of a word to anyone.” This is followed by a “queasy-squeezy” feeling akin to guilt and then by a full-tilt run to his friends, chocolates in hand, and a breathless, stream-of-consciousness confession, only to be brought up short by what’s actually in the box. And the moral is just right: “You see, sometimes it’s when you stop to think of others…that you start to find out just how much they think of you.” Monster’s wide eyes and toothy mouth convey his emotions wonderfully, and the simple backgrounds keep the focus on his struggle.

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-00-754030-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun.

CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO JOBS PEOPLE DO

From the Clothesline Clues series

Heling and Hembrook’s clever conceit challenges children to analyze a small town’s clotheslines to guess the job each of their owners does. 

Close-up on the clothesline: “Uniform and cap, / an invite for you. / Big bag of letters. / What job does she do?” A turn of the page reveals a macro view of the home, van and the woman doing her job, “She is a mail carrier.” Indeed, she can be spotted throughout the book delivering invitations to all the rest of the characters, who gather at the end for a “Launch Party.” The verses’ rhymes are spot-on, though the rhythm falters a couple of times. The authors nicely mix up the gender stereotypes often associated with several of these occupations, making the carpenter, firefighter and astronaut women. But while Davies keeps uniforms and props pretty neutral (he even avoids U.S. mail symbols), he keeps to the stereotypes that allow young readers to easily identify occupations—the farmer chews on a stalk of wheat; the beret-wearing artist sports a curly mustache. A subdued palette and plain white backgrounds keep kids’ focus on the clothing clues. Still, there are plenty of details to absorb—the cat with arched back that anticipates a spray of water, the firefighter who “lights” the rocket.

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-251-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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