Readers will feel assured that anxiety is short-lived and friendship endures.

READ REVIEW

JOSIE'S LOST TOOTH

Josie, usually the best and first at almost everything, is the last in her class to lose a tooth—and she’s determined to change that.

Josie and Richard are friends with a healthy dose of competition at Blueberry Hill Elementary School. After a few unsuccessful attempts to lose a tooth just like Richard (and all her classmates), she laments, “What if she had baby teeth for the rest of her life?” Richard, the perennial friend, cheers her up with a game of shark-chases-squid tag during which Josie accidentally loses her tooth—literally. Josie worries that the Tooth Fairy won’t come through on her end of the bargain and writes her a letter of appeal. A surprising gift reveals an understanding Tooth Fairy who boosts friendship over money. Mann’s rustic pencil-and-pastel illustrations so closely resemble a child’s drawings it’s as if Josie has chronicled her own story. The inclusion of the letters to and from the Tooth Fairy may very well inspire young writers. The realistic dialogue, effective use of italics, and simple, kidlike vocabulary work well with the illustrations to create a satisfying tale on a familiar theme centered on friendship, play, and imagination. Josie has brown skin, rosy cheeks, and dark brown braids, and Richard has pale skin, freckles, and red hair.

Readers will feel assured that anxiety is short-lived and friendship endures. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9694-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers will agree: All differences should be hugged, er, embraced.

BIRD HUGS

Watch out, Hug Machine (Scott Campbell, 2014), there’s another long-limbed lover of squeezes in the mix.

Bernard, a tiny, lavender bird, dejectedly sits atop a high branch. His wings droop all the way to the ground. Heaving a sigh, his disappointment is palpable. With insufferably long wings, he has never been able to fly. All of his friends easily took to the skies, leaving him behind. There is nothing left to do but sit in his tree and feel sorry for himself. Adamson amusingly shows readers the passage of time with a sequence of vignettes of Bernard sitting in the rain, the dark, and amid a cloud of paper wasps—never moving from his branch. Then one day he hears a sob and finds a tearful orangutan. Without even thinking, Bernard wraps his long wings around the great ape. The orangutan is comforted! Bernard has finally found the best use of his wings. In gentle watercolor and pencil sketches, Adamson slips in many moments of humor. Animals come from all over to tell Bernard their troubles (a lion muses that it is “lonely at the top of the food chain” while a bat worries about missing out on fun during the day). Three vertical spreads that necessitate a 90-degree rotation add to the fun.

Readers will agree: All differences should be hugged, er, embraced. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9271-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Aims high but falls flat.

WILD SYMPHONY

Through 20 short poems, Maestro Mouse invites readers to meet a series of animals who have lessons to impart and a symphony to perform.

Brown, author of The DaVinci Code (2003) and other wildly popular titles for adults, here offers young listeners a poetry collection accompanied by music: a “symphony” performed, for readers equipped with an audio device and an internet connection, by the Zagreb Festival Orchestra. From the introduction of the conductor and the opening “Woodbird Welcome” to the closing “Cricket Lullaby,” the writer/composer uses poems made of three to eight rhyming couplets, each line with four strong beats, to introduce the animals who will be revealed in the final double gatefold as the players in an all-animal orchestra. Each poem also contains a lesson, reinforced by a short message (often on a banner or signpost). Thus, “When life trips them up a bit, / Cats just make the best of it” concludes the poem “Clumsy Kittens,” which is encapsulated by “Falling down is part of life. The best thing to do is get back on your feet!” The individual songs and poems may appeal to the intended audience, but collectively they don’t have enough variety to be read aloud straight through. Nor does the gathering of the orchestra provide a narrative arc. Batori’s cartoon illustrations are whimsically engaging, however. They include puzzles: hard-to-find letters that are said to form anagrams of instrument names and a bee who turns up somewhere in every scene.

Aims high but falls flat. (Complete composition not available for review.) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12384-3

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more