Kids don’t want a lesson in playground etiquette delivered in didactic fashion from a puppy, even a cute one. Ready or not?...

READY OR NOT, HERE COMES SCOUT!

A boisterous golden retriever puppy narrates her attempts to make friends at the dog park in this earnest but uninspired story that fails to capture the bouncy charm of a real puppy.

Abramson, the executive editor of the New York Times, previously relayed the story of rearing her puppy in a book for adults, The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout (2011). For this effort, Abramson collaborates with her sister, the author of the popular Fancy Nancy series. Despite their extensive publishing experience, the authors present an unexceptional story with a stilted text that reads like a stale beginning reader from the 1950s. Scout narrates in a coy, overly cheery tone with an abundance of exclamation marks and repeated refrains of “Ooh ooh!” and “Ready or not, here I come!” After learning to play nicely and to share her toy, Scout proclaims, “Wow! See how popular I am now!” Appealing illustrations of the cast of cavorting canines add interest but fail to rescue the lackluster text.

Kids don’t want a lesson in playground etiquette delivered in didactic fashion from a puppy, even a cute one. Ready or not? Not. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-670-01441-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2012

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Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride.

THE PIGEON WILL RIDE THE ROLLER COASTER!

The Pigeon is on an emotional—and physical—roller coaster.

Since learning about the existence of roller coasters, he’s become giddy with excitement. The Pigeon prepares mentally: He’ll need a ticket and “exemplary patience” to wait in line. He envisions zooming up and down and careening through dizzying turns and loops. Then, he imagines his emotions afterward: exhilaration, post-ride blues, pride at having accomplished such a feat, and enthusiasm at the prospect of riding again. (He’ll also feel dizzy and nauseous.) All this before the Pigeon ever sets claw on an actual coaster. So…will he really try it? Are roller coasters fun? When the moment comes, everything seems to go according to plan: waiting in line, settling into the little car, THEN—off he goes! Though the ride itself isn’t quite what the Pigeon expected, it will delight readers. Wearing his feelings on his wing and speaking directly to the audience in first person, the Pigeon describes realistic thoughts and emotions about waiting and guessing about the unknown—common childhood experiences. No sentiment is misplaced; kids will relate to Pigeon’s eagerness and apprehension. The ending falls somewhat flat, but the whole humorous point is that an underwhelming adventure can still be thrilling enough to warrant repeating. Willems’ trademark droll illustrations will have readers giggling. The roller-coaster attendant is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4549-4686-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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A muddled message shoots for the moon but never quite gets all the way off the ground.

LOUD MOUSE

A little mouse experiences BIG changes thanks to a spectacular talent.

Dee’s a singer to her core. She croons absolutely everywhere, so when her teacher Miss Pink suggests that her students bring in something that symbolizes what they enjoy doing, Dee brings in a song. As she sings it, however, her joy causes her to physically grow huge! At first this makes her feel special, but as the day goes on she feels lonely and out of place. Shrinking back to her normal size, she worries that this means she can never sing again. But thanks to the encouragement of her mother and little sister, she realizes that being special is nothing to be ashamed of. However, though her classmates have skills of their own, only Dee changes, indicating that some talents are more transformative than others. After all, while everyone is enthralled by Dee, Ren the turtle’s talent for drawing a replica of a space station is something he “made everyone watch.” The true standout in this show comes from Sinquett’s dynamic art, capable of encompassing the emotional highs and lows of elementary school kids. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A muddled message shoots for the moon but never quite gets all the way off the ground. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-368-07806-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

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