Both poignant and triumphant at once.

READ REVIEW

TREVOR

A lonely canary takes a chance on friendship and the payoff is immeasurable.

Bright yellow Trevor knows how to leave his cage (“a tiny peck and the door would pop open”), but he stays for the seeds, especially his favorite stripy ones, which he saves “for the loneliest days.” But then a potential companion arrives outside his window. Averbeck’s gentle fable describes a small bird who’s both too unworldly to recognize that his bright yellow friend is a lemon and too sweet to interpret the lemon’s silence as anything other than friendship. Trevor flies out of his cage to meet the lemon, bringing along his hidden stripy seed to share. Though the seed falls to the ground, Trevor builds a nest, sharing the summer days with his quiet friend, performing duets in which “the lemon sang the silences.” Hevron’s depiction of Trevor’s earnest embrace of this friendship and his small world of cage, window, brown tree, pale blue sky, and yellow lemon is filled with sweetness and simplicity of line and color. A storm knocks the lemon from the tree, but Trevor realizes that his friend has left a gift: The lemon’s tumble shakes the grown sunflower below, and brightly colored birds—new friends—soon come by to ask if they might share the stripy seeds with Trevor, and something big and lovely comes to Trevor as a result of his odd but memorable friendship.

Both poignant and triumphant at once. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-14828-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...

OLIVER AND HIS EGG

Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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