An interactive and educational story.


Animals explore a nature museum in Davis’ picture book.

A raccoon named Rodney and his pals visit the Dome-A-Roma, a science museum, where Professor Batfish—a creature with a human body and a head that’s a fish in a fishbowl—gives them a mission each day. Today, he tells them, “A special package is coming, and I’d really like to see if you can guess what it is before the clock strikes three.” The group explores the different sections of the museum, including the Woodland Dome and an underwater tunnel called the Aqua Dome. The group eventually compiles their clues, determining that the surprise is “A bird, black and white, that lives in cold weather!” Overall, the story’s concept accessibly introduces puzzle-solving skills. For example, Batfish communicates to the group via tablets, offering hints, such as that the surprise is “black and white.” Rodney spots a black-and-white whale and wonders whether the surprise is “big or small.” Later, the author encouragingly says that if a reader asks “questions and collect[s] all the clues…you would have guessed it’s a penguin too!” Debut artist Li’s cartoonish illustrations of animals and nature habitats are amusing and clarify the text, indicating, for instance, when characters are reading Professor Batfish’s words off of a tablet.

An interactive and educational story.

Pub Date: June 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-73232-300-1

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Wayout Kids Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...


With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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