The moral? Slow down and smell the roses! (Picture book. 2-5)

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QUEENIE QUAIL CAN'T KEEP UP

Bright, swirling, busy spreads in warm gouache colors enhance this simple tale of a family of California quails, reminiscent of Make Way for Ducklings.

The 10 little yellow quails faithfully follow Mama Quail along the meadow trail while Papa Quail watches from above. “In a straight little line went ten little chicks, and as / they went, ten little heads went bob bob bob, / ten sets of feet went tap tap tap, / and ten round bodies went hurry, hurry, hurry.” But as the title suggests, the littlest quail, Queenie, has other things on her mind. She dawdles along at her own pace, continually distracted by “pink blossoms and green grass, / shiny stones and fuzzy caterpillars, / buzzy bumblebees and wiggly worms.” Until one day, in the rear as usual, Queenie spies “An unusual flash of orange,” which turns out to be…a cat! And it’s headed straight for the little quail family. Queenie immediately raises the alarm, squeaking and chirping as she races along the trail. Alerted by the warning, Papa Quail swoops in and saves the day, scaring the cat away. Whittingham adopts a slightly old-fashioned storytelling voice to tell her tale, employing rhythm and repetition to both delineate characters and propel the plot. Pedersen imbues her quail chicks with lots of personality by focusing on their wide, white faces and bouncing topknots.

The moral? Slow down and smell the roses! (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77278-067-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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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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