Give to fans of Knuffle Bunny and to any child who appreciates an intense bond with a special toy.

After getting a coin for her lost tooth, dynamic Bridget sets forth on what she thinks will be an exciting shopping trip only to find she must rescue her most beloved, “special one and only” Captain Cat toy.

When Bridget gets to Dinglebang’s, “absolutely the best store in the world,” her unbridled energy leads her to “spizzoom” through the shop. Along the way, the unthinkable happens: Captain Cat gets hooked on the handle of a customer's umbrella and then dropped into another girl’s shopping basket. Bridget is unaware until classmate Billy informs her that Captain Cat is not in her backpack, where she safely packed him. Berger’s retro illustration style utilizes techniques found in comic books to augment the ensuing drama. Bright yellow highlights and urgent bold capital letters alert readers to the action in the pictures ("Yikes! Now look!") that is not described in the quickly paced text. Bridget pursues a frantic yet fruitless search that culminates in a spectacular meltdown. But Billy’s sharp eye and handy new Superzoom 500 pedal car helps Bridget rescue Captain Cat. “Everyone was happy! / …except the little girl…who’d found Captain Cat…and decided to take care of him.” A bright idea and some help from Mommy result in a tidy yet happily satisfying ending.

Give to fans of Knuffle Bunny and to any child who appreciates an intense bond with a special toy. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3410-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012


A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012


From the Big Bright Feelings series

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance.

A boy with wings learns to be himself and inspires others like him to soar, too.

Norman, a “perfectly normal” boy, never dreamed he might grow wings. Afraid of what his parents might say, he hides his new wings under a big, stuffy coat. Although the coat hides his wings from the world, Norman no longer finds joy in bathtime, playing at the park, swimming, or birthday parties. With the gentle encouragement of his parents, who see his sadness, Norman finds the courage to come out of hiding and soar. Percival (The Magic Looking Glass, 2017, etc.) depicts Norman with light skin and dark hair. Black-and-white illustrations show his father with dark skin and hair and his mother as white. The contrast of black-and-white illustrations with splashes of bright color complements the story’s theme. While Norman tries to be “normal,” the world and people around him look black and gray, but his coat stands out in yellow. Birds pop from the page in pink, green, and blue, emphasizing the joy and beauty of flying free. The final spread, full of bright color and multiracial children in flight, sets the mood for Norman’s realization on the last page that there is “no such thing as perfectly normal,” but he can be “perfectly Norman.”

A heartwarming story about facing fears and acceptance. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-785-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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