A fluffy, uber-adorable, bite-sized introducción al español.

Talk-show host Fallon and movie and pop star Lopez partner up to serve an introductory slice of whimsical Spanish learning.

“This is Pollo. She wants to play.” In the middle of the page, a cute white blob of a chicken—with dots for eyes with blush spots beneath them, stubby wings and legs, an unkempt comb on top—chirps a bright “¡Hola!” Leveraging full-color backgrounds with a distinct absence of any distracting details, Campos keeps the artwork centered solely on Pollo and whatever item she needs to play, play, play. Colorful visual simplicity here aims to capture younger readers’ attention, with great success. So, how does Pollo play? Pollo goes to la playa, plays a rousing game of fútbol, visits la biblioteca, and gets toys from la tienda. In one amusing scene, Pollo even hops on a plane to volar. Each scenario sets the scene with an English sentence before guiding readers toward a Spanglish translation. Fallon and Lopez establish this rhythm and pace early on and keep it intact throughout the book with little variation. The highlighted Spanish translations don’t quite follow a logical progression—sometimes, just the noun is presented in Spanish (“Go to la playa con Pollo?”); sometimes it’s a verb (“Bailar con Pollo?”). Still, they help bring to life Pollo’s delightful play sessions, and that in itself proves enough.

A fluffy, uber-adorable, bite-sized introducción al español. (glossary) (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-83041-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Oct. 18, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022


A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies.

Pigeon finds something better to drive than some old bus.

This time it’s Santa delivering the fateful titular words, and with a “Ho. Ho. Whoa!” the badgering begins: “C’mon! Where’s your holiday spirit? It would be a Christmas MIRACLE! Don’t you want to be part of a Christmas miracle…?” Pigeon is determined: “I can do Santa stuff!” Like wrapping gifts (though the accompanying illustration shows a rather untidy present), delivering them (the image of Pigeon attempting to get an oversize sack down a chimney will have little ones giggling), and eating plenty of cookies. Alas, as Willems’ legion of young fans will gleefully predict, not even Pigeon’s by-now well-honed persuasive powers (“I CAN BE JOLLY!”) will budge the sleigh’s large and stinky reindeer guardian. “BAH. Also humbug.” In the typically minimalist art, the frustrated feathered one sports a floppily expressive green and red elf hat for this seasonal addition to the series—but then discards it at the end for, uh oh, a pair of bunny ears. What could Pigeon have in mind now? “Egg delivery, anyone?”

A stocking stuffer par excellence, just right for dishing up with milk and cookies. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781454952770

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2023


Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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