Next book


From the Goodnight Already! series

That’s all, though, folks. With its one-joke plot and dramatic potential, it’s better suited to school and library use than...

Animals with differing internal rhythms find it challenging to be neighbors in this nocturnal tale.

Duck is full of energy; sitting in his brightly lit, yellow kitchen, he sips coffee while perusing 101 Ways to Stay Awake. Bear, by contrast, stands sleepily at the base of the staircase in his dimly lit living room, stuffed rabbit dangling from one massive paw. Just after Bear climbs the steps and settles in, Duck raps on the door, wide awake. "Wanna play cards?…Watch a movie?…Start a band?…Make smoothies?" To each suggestion, Bear simply says “No.” This pattern plays out three times, each episode ending with one or the other voicing the titular refrain until the beleaguered bear is finally wide awake, and the duck drifts off. The relationship between a lumbering, grumpy character and a frenetic extrovert will be familiar to grown-up fans of cartoons, and Duck’s ludicrous behavior and costumes will no doubt elicit giggles from young listeners. Davies brings an animator’s sensibility to his uncluttered compositions; variation in page color and typeface as well as skillful manipulation of facial features signal emotional states. The texture of the hairy bear and the occasional patterns on the floor and bedspread add interest to the flat backgrounds.

That’s all, though, folks. With its one-joke plot and dramatic potential, it’s better suited to school and library use than repeat readings in a lap at home. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-228620-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

Next book


From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Next book


From the Big Bright Feelings series

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings (. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Close Quickview