A cautionary tale on a minor note.


There are lots of noises and many other animals that make Felix the tree frog worry.

Young readers could start to fear for his safety, but the book’s narrator constantly works to reassure and engage them. “Plip! Plop! Splash! What’s that noise? Felix looks worried, doesn’t he? Let’s turn the page and show him there’s nothing to be scared of.” It turns out that a “friendly turtle” has made the noise. Other animals, such as a “shiny beetle,” “playful monkeys,” and a “slithery snake,” cross the little frog’s path, and there are other actions for readers to take: “Clap your hands and shout, ‘Shoo, slithery snake’ ”; counting the branches of a tall tree (the book must be turned 90 degrees to view it) that Felix climbs to get away from a “busy woodpecker.” When something else comes up that tall tree, the narrator exhorts readers to say “Leap, frog!” But Felix is a little more aware of his own environment than readers are, and all’s well. The vibrant, full-bleed illustrations are reminiscent of Eric Carle’s collaged flora and fauna. While the text reads a little bumpily, it is engaging and the pictures should work well with a group. Some children may want to know if any of the other animals really could be harmful to the little tree frog. This book does not provide the answers.

A cautionary tale on a minor note. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1205-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Review Posted Online: Nov. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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Nothing new here but a nonetheless congenial matriculant in publishing’s autumnal rite of back-to-school offerings.


The Crayons head back to class in this latest series entry.

Daywalt’s expository text lays out the basics as various Crayons wave goodbye to the beach, choose a first-day outfit, greet old friends, and make new ones. As in previous outings, the perennially droll illustrations and hand-lettered Crayon-speak drive the humor. The ever wrapperless Peach, opining, “What am I going to wear?” surveys three options: top hat and tails, a chef’s toque and apron, and a Santa suit. New friends Chunky Toddler Crayon (who’s missing a bite-sized bit of their blue point) and Husky Toddler Crayon speculate excitedly on their common last name: “I wonder if we’re related!” White Crayon, all but disappearing against the page’s copious white space, sits cross-legged reading a copy of H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man. And Yellow and Orange, notable for their previous existential argument about the color of the sun, find agreement in science class: Jupiter, clearly, is yellow AND orange. Everybody’s excited about art class—“Even if they make a mess. Actually…ESPECIALLY if they make a mess!” Here, a spread of crayoned doodles of butterflies, hearts, and stars is followed by one with fulsome scribbles. Fans of previous outings will spot cameos from Glow in the Dark and yellow-caped Esteban (the Crayon formerly known as Pea Green). (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Nothing new here but a nonetheless congenial matriculant in publishing’s autumnal rite of back-to-school offerings. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 16, 2023

ISBN: 9780593621110

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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