Fighting fire-breathing dragons is difficult even for a brave knight like Peter, but when he cannot breathe, it becomes next to impossible. My Lady (Mom) comes to his rescue with Puffy, his inhaler, but the two decide that a trip to the doctor is in order. Readers will get an accurate picture of what happens at the doctor’s office, from using a peak flow meter and being examined to talking with the doctor about what seems to trigger the attacks. With the help of his new medicine, inhaled through a nebulizer, Peter can finally conquer that dragon…just in time to see a new monster arise from the moat. Backmatter includes a note from a pediatric pulmonologist giving parents the basic facts about asthma. Lewis’s watercolor illustrations portray an ordinary boy with an active imagination who does not let asthma slow him down or keep him from his adventures. The inside peek at the medical appointment will reassure those readers facing similar office visits. Its mission is in plain view, but those kids and parents facing an asthma diagnosis will be grateful for it. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6517-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2009

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Precious—but timely and comforting all the same.


From the Hedgehog and Tortoise Story series

The two creatures who fulfilled each other’s yearning for physical contact in The Hug (2019) find alternative ways to connect in a time of social distancing.

Blushing and smiling and looking every bit as sweet as they did in their original meet-cute, Hedgehog and Tortoise respond to Owl’s reassurance that “there are lots of ways to show someone you love them” by standing on opposing pages and sending signals, letters, dances, air kisses, and songs across the gutter. Demonstrating their mutual love and friendship, they regard each other fondly across the gap through sun and storm, finally gesturing air hugs beneath a rainbow of colors and stars. “They could not touch. / They could not hug. // But they both knew / that they were loved.” In line with the minimalist narrative and illustrations there is no mention of the enforced separation’s cause nor, aside from the titular conjunction, any hint of its possible duration. Still, its core affirmation is delivered in a simple, direct, unmistakable way, and if the thematic connection with the previous outing seems made to order for a marketing opportunity, it does address a widespread emotional need in young (and maybe not so young) audiences. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9.8-by-19.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 78% of actual size.)

Precious—but timely and comforting all the same. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-5713-6558-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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I.Q., that lovable mouse, is back, this time helping children learn how to keep fit. At the kickoff assembly for Health Month, the speaker tells students that he will be awarding gold ribbons to everyone who passes the fitness test at the end of the month. I.Q. decides he will be one of them, but his preliminary results don’t exactly stack up to that of the kids. He works hard on his art project, though—a fitness poster—and adds to it each week as he learns more: “Eat a balanced diet,” “stay active,” “drink plenty of water” and “get lots of sleep.” Fraser’s droll illustrations steal the show as I.Q. uses everyday objects as fitness equipment and learns the hard way to follow the rules on his poster. He gets a stomachache after a brownie lunch, and after staying up too late reading, he falls asleep in math and skins his nose at recess. In the end, his results still don’t measure up, but his effort is rewarded with a ribbon for most improved. I.Q. is one determined mouse who will have youngsters cheering for him as they subtly absorb the lesson he’s teaching. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8027-9558-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2007

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