From the Nuggies series , Vol. 5

A sweet, sometimes-rhyming musing on the nature of daydreams from an adorable canine.

A puppy imagines what her life would be like if she could climb trees in this fifth installment of the Nuggies series by Minich and Garcia (Oui Oui, Gigi, 2016, etc.).

Coco, a Nuggie (or a puppy who never grows up), daydreams about a perfect day: “If I could go anywhere… / If I could do anything… / Where would I go? / What would I see?” Putting her paws against the bark of a tree, she begins to visualize what it would be like to climb trees and have a bird’s-eye view of the world. Coco’s dream tree is a magical one; from it, she can see the ocean crashing onto the beach, snow falling in the mountains, and a vast nighttime enveloping the cityscape. Coco also considers what she’d eat if she were like the bugs living in the tree. Garcia cleverly draws the little, big-eared brown dog in caterpillar form, chewing leaves; then as a lady bug drinking raindrops; and finally as an ant eating honey. In each image, Coco remains recognizable, despite becoming an insect. Next, Coco imagines playing like a squirrel, and Garcia combines Coco’s canine features with a rodent form, showing her leaping among the branches with a bushy tail. As night falls in Coco’s reverie, she wonders how the other animals might envision her life: the bugs getting comfy on human furniture; the bird’s wings changing to paws so she can bury a bone; and the squirrel gaining a dog’s sense of smell. Coco’s idyll concludes as she ponders the power of dreams to make you “any kind of you that you ever want to be!” Garcia’s illustrations are almost huggable in their cuteness, and Coco’s friend Chomper from earlier series installments makes a subtle appearance in two of the images. Because the story is from Coco’s point of view, her name is never given in the tale; only readers familiar with earlier books will know who she is, but newcomers should have no trouble connecting with her. Minich’s text sometimes rhymes and sometimes doesn’t, which feels uneven, though the concepts and vocabulary are quite approachable for both lap and newly independent picture-book readers.

A sweet, sometimes-rhyming musing on the nature of daydreams from an adorable canine.

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9968115-7-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2017


Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity.

A collection of parental wishes for a child.

It starts out simply enough: two children run pell-mell across an open field, one holding a high-flying kite with the line “I wish you more ups than downs.” But on subsequent pages, some of the analogous concepts are confusing or ambiguous. The line “I wish you more tippy-toes than deep” accompanies a picture of a boy happily swimming in a pool. His feet are visible, but it's not clear whether he's floating in the deep end or standing in the shallow. Then there's a picture of a boy on a beach, his pockets bulging with driftwood and colorful shells, looking frustrated that his pockets won't hold the rest of his beachcombing treasures, which lie tantalizingly before him on the sand. The line reads: “I wish you more treasures than pockets.” Most children will feel the better wish would be that he had just the right amount of pockets for his treasures. Some of the wordplay, such as “more can than knot” and “more pause than fast-forward,” will tickle older readers with their accompanying, comical illustrations. The beautifully simple pictures are a sweet, kid- and parent-appealing blend of comic-strip style and fine art; the cast of children depicted is commendably multiethnic.

Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4521-2699-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015


The Buehners retell the old familiar tale with a jump-roping, rhyme-spouting Goldilocks. When their porridge proves to be too hot to eat, the bear family goes for a stroll. Meanwhile, Goldilocks comes knocking to find a jump-roping friend. This Goldilocks does not simply test out the chairs: “Big chair, middle chair, little chair, too, / Somebody’s here to bounce on you!” And so continues the old favorite, interspersed with Goldilocks’s jump-rope verse. When she escapes through the bedroom window, none of the characters are sure what sort of creature they have just encountered. The Buehner’s homey illustrations perfectly capture the facial expressions of the characters, and lend a particular kind of mischief to Goldilocks. Readers may miss the message on the copyright page, but hidden within each picture are three creatures, instantly adding challenge and appeal. Cute, but there’s not quite enough new here to make it a must. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8037-2939-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2007