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

IF I COULD CLIMB TREES

From the Nuggies series , Vol. 5

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more