London and Rex have teamed up again (Wiggle Waggle, not reviewed) to produce a captivating bedtime tale for the preschool set. As in Wiggle Waggle, London employs echoic words to describe how various animal mothers hug their young, drawing a correlation between them and how readers hug their own moms. The text is primarily a repetition of the same format for a variety of animals. Each two-page spread is devoted to a mother/child couple. The question “How does a (bunny/otter/monkey) hug?” is located in the upper left-hand corner of the page. The answers are a collection of toddler-pleasing tongue twisters, e.g., “Snuggle wuggle, snuggle wuggle” for a bunny and “Pouchety boing! boing! boing!” for a kangaroo. The whimsical refrains lend themselves to a boisterous read-aloud session, encouraging readers’ enthusiastic participation. The majority of the spread comprises an extreme close-up of Rex’s realistically drawn animals: loving mothers cradling their blissful offspring. Clean lines mark the illustrations and the colorful, crisp images are situated against a pure white background. The tale concludes with an open-ended question, asking readers to describe how they hug. A very simple format that works extremely well either as group read-aloud or an individual story time for young children. Besides providing a cuddly bedtime story, London’s tale also aids little ones in identifying a broad assortment of familiar animals. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-15-202159-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2000

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The odyssey of ducklings venturing forth from their comfortable nests into the big world resonates with children and has been a well-traveled subject of many works geared toward young readers. Thompson’s (Mouse’s First Valentine, 2002, etc.) latest effort will certainly appeal to youngsters despite its lack of originality. Mama Duck is coaxing her five hesitant ducklings (Widdle, Waddle, Piddle, Puddle, and Little Quack) into the water one at a time. A “quack-u-lator” at the bottom of the pages adds an interesting mathematical element, helping children count along as ducklings jump into the pond. Mama encourages each nervous duckling to “paddle on the water with me . . . you can do it . . . I know you can.” Overcoming their initial fright, the first four ducklings “splish, splash, sploosh, and splosh” happily into the water. The simple tale’s climax occurs when Little Quack wavers at the water’s edge. “Could he do it? Did he dare?” Not to spoil the ending, but suffice it to say all five ducklings swim off “proud as can be.” In his debut effort, Anderson’s bright and colorful illustrations are lively and captivating. The five adorable ducklings embark on this rite of passage sporting unique looks ranging from Mohawk-type head feathers to orange spots and flowered hair adornments. A pleasant enough take on an old standby. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-689-84723-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2002

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.


From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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