What job will Little Hippo tackle next? Readers will be there for it.

HERE COMES FIREFIGHTER HIPPO

From the Little Hippo series

The imaginative Little Hippo is back, this time as a pint-sized firefighter.

Dressed in a firefighter’s coat and hat, Little Hippo jumps into his adorable (and lifelike) pedal car—readers will drool, as it’s the perfect fire engine, complete with bell, ladder and hose—and he’s off to fight fires. But his job is not without its obstacles. He gets stuck in the muck where Big Hippo is wallowing. “Big Hippo bumped and thumped and—plup!—pushed the fire truck out.” Then, he gets trapped by the tall grass (Graceful Gazelle comes to the rescue) and can’t quite make it up a steep hill (Very Tall Giraffe acts as a crane). Then it’s past Laughing Hyena (who laughs at him) and a very quick zip past snoring Lion. Suddenly, there’s thunder and lighting. Could it be? A real fire! Firefighter Hippo’s reaction is spot-on childlike—he goes to look for help, finding it in Elephant. Quite satisfied with the job he has accomplished, Firefighter Hippo heads home to show Mama how he puts out fires, squirting her with his fire hose. More engaging than London and Eduar’s first collaboration (Here Comes Doctor Hippo, 2012), Little Hippo’s story charms readers with copious onomatopoeia. Observant readers can see clues as to the next animal Little Hippo will encounter in the gouache illustrations, which are full of Seuss-ian colors and de Brunhoff–esque shapes.

What job will Little Hippo tackle next? Readers will be there for it. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59078-968-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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

HEY, DUCK!

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. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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