This gentle bedtime book is sweet enough, but it doesn’t exactly break new ground. (Picture book. 2-5)

READ REVIEW

NIGHTY-NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT

A young tot in mauve footed pajamas tucks into bed with a good book. So begins this off-to-bed journey that provides glimpses of sleepy animals around the world.

Rhyming couplets introduce both familiar and somewhat exotic creatures preparing to sleep in their cozy habitats. Moose in Maine, a Bahamian iguana, prairie dogs in Utah, Peruvian scarlet macaws, Galapágos turtles (called turtles, but depicted as tortoises), Australian kangaroos, Malaysian tigers, walruses in Russia and African chimpanzees all appear quite cuddly in soft smudgy acrylics and pencil as they share each page with the child and her tiny white dog. Calm blue-hued backgrounds cue the coming nighttime. A soothing refrain adds a lullabylike quality to the cadenced text: “High on mountains in China, / with a full moon in view, / the pandas curl up / in their beds of bamboo. / Dreaming dreams / under blankets of stars. / Sweet dreams / under blankets of stars.” As the bedtime tale comes to a close, the final spread shows the menagerie of animals—imaginary or toy—surrounding the sleeping child in her bed. They “send a nighty-night kiss to their sleepy friend….You.”

This gentle bedtime book is sweet enough, but it doesn’t exactly break new ground. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4027-8088-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

THE HUG

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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