We think you can, we think you can, we think you can…skip this superfluous outing.


The line between book and brand blurs with this bedtime take on an old standby.

Watty Piper’s little blue engine, best known for her persistence, now finds herself wide awake in the roundhouse when bedtime comes. Venturing out to investigate a nighttime sound, she finds a lost baby bird and decides to return it to its mother. Immediately they engage the help of Rusty Engine and some of the toys from the original story. These now appear to live with the engines in the roundhouse (guess they never made it to the good little girls and boys after all?). But what’s this? The mama bird has been living in the roundhouse this whole time too! (So what was Little Bird doing outside? And how is it that he doesn’t recognize the roundhouse as his home?) Family is reunited. Art meant to evoke bygone days depicts characters and scenery alike in bright, bold colors. The dolls include a light-skinned one with blond hair and one brown-skinned doll with brown hair as well as a monkey that unfortunately reinforces the old silly-monkey stereotype. One cannot help but remark that, with the release of the 90th-anniversary edition of The Little Engine That Could, newly illustrated by Dan Santat (2020), this tepid, illogical title, riding on the coattails of a classic, seems totally unnecessary.

We think you can, we think you can, we think you can…skip this superfluous outing. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 23, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09457-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride.


The Pigeon is on an emotional—and physical—roller coaster.

Since learning about the existence of roller coasters, he’s become giddy with excitement. The Pigeon prepares mentally: He’ll need a ticket and “exemplary patience” to wait in line. He envisions zooming up and down and careening through dizzying turns and loops. Then, he imagines his emotions afterward: exhilaration, post-ride blues, pride at having accomplished such a feat, and enthusiasm at the prospect of riding again. (He’ll also feel dizzy and nauseous.) All this before the Pigeon ever sets claw on an actual coaster. So…will he really try it? Are roller coasters fun? When the moment comes, everything seems to go according to plan: waiting in line, settling into the little car, THEN—off he goes! Though the ride itself isn’t quite what the Pigeon expected, it will delight readers. Wearing his feelings on his wing and speaking directly to the audience in first person, the Pigeon describes realistic thoughts and emotions about waiting and guessing about the unknown—common childhood experiences. No sentiment is misplaced; kids will relate to Pigeon’s eagerness and apprehension. The ending falls somewhat flat, but the whole humorous point is that an underwhelming adventure can still be thrilling enough to warrant repeating. Willems’ trademark droll illustrations will have readers giggling. The roller-coaster attendant is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4549-4686-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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A winning tale about finding new friends.


Bear finds a wonderful toy.

Bear clearly loves the toy bunny that he has found sitting up against a tree in the forest, but he wants to help it return to its home. With a wagon full of fliers and the bunny secure in Bear’s backpack, he festoons the trees with posters and checks out a bulletin board filled with lost and found objects (some of which will bring a chuckle to adult readers). Alas, he returns home still worried about bunny. The following day, they happily play together and ride Bear’s tricycle. Into the cozy little picture steps Moose, who immediately recognizes his bunny, named Floppy. Bear has a tear in his eye as he watches Moose and Floppy hug. But Moose, wearing a tie, is clearly grown and knows that it is time to share and that Bear will take very good care of his Floppy. Yoon’s story is sweet without being sentimental. She uses digitized artwork in saturated colors to create a lovely little world for her animals. They are outlined in strong black lines and stand out against the yellows, blues, greens and oranges of the background. She also uses space to great effect, allowing readers to feel the emotional tug of the story.

A winning tale about finding new friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3559-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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