This good-natured fable sends home an important message.

READ REVIEW

THE GREEDY CROW

From the Beau Crow series

A satisfying tale about greed and gluttony.

“One morning time, young Beau Crow felt terrible rumbles from his tummy below… / It was only an hour since breakfast at most, when Beau had gobbled grubs on toast.” So Crow flies off to find a field of worms and starts gorging himself. Hare and Mouse tell Crow to stop being so greedy and selfish, and Badger warns him that he will get so fat he won’t be able to fly, but he keeps on eating. Sure enough, when Fox saunters by, Crow can’t get off the ground to escape the predator. A chase ensues, and he finally gets enough exercise to slim down and lift off. The fable ends with an admonition: “After his journey Beau had reduced in size, and promised to be more healthy and wise.” The rhymes and rhythm work quite well in this silly story (though they are not written as verse but in short paragraphs), whether readers choose the British narration, the “record me reading” option or just read it aloud. Double-clicking brings up a rather glitch-y navigation menu. The illustrations are almost too sketchy and simple, though they are in keeping with the sparse but humorous animations, like the rubber-band effect when Crow is pulling up a worm from its hole, or the round-and-round screen chase with Fox.

This good-natured fable sends home an important message. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Jason Harris

Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2012

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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For readers who haven’t a musk ox of their own to snuggle up with, this tale proves just as cozy.

COZY

An agreeable Alaskan musk ox embodies that old Ben Franklin adage, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”

When Cozy the ox is separated from his herd in the midst of a winter storm, he decides to wait it out. His massive size and warmth attract small animals—a lemming family and a snowshoe hare—desperate to escape the cold. However, as bigger, predatory creatures arrive, Cozy must lay down some “house rules” that grow with each new creature that arrives until they extend to: “Quiet voices, gentle thumping, claws to yourself, no biting, no pouncing, and be mindful of others!” Over time, the guests grow antsy, but at last spring arrives and Cozy can find his family. The tale is not dissimilar to another Jan Brett tale of cold weather and animals squeezing into a small space (The Mitten, 1989). Meticulous watercolors refrain from anthropomorphizing, rendering everyone, from massive Cozy to the tiniest of lemmings, in exquisite detail. This moving tale of gentle kindness serves as a clarion call for anyone searching for a book about creating your own community in times of trial. Brett even includes little details about real musk oxen in the text (such as their tendency to form protective circles to surround their vulnerable young), but readers hoping for further information in any backmatter will be disappointed. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 37.3% of actual size.)

For readers who haven’t a musk ox of their own to snuggle up with, this tale proves just as cozy. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-10979-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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