An amusing trifle for those that like animal stories.

OZZY THE OSTRICH

Ozzy is about to be a mother when lions arrive for an attack!

This Spanish import starts as a quiet, repetitive counting book, as first one, then two, then “three ostriches found three flowers.” The counting motif continues as one, then two, then “three lions saw three ostriches, licked their lips and their whiskers and claws, and thought: YUM! YUM! YUM!” But then there is a break in the pattern. Ozzy, the first ostrich, lays her egg, spies the predatory lions, and angrily yells: “Nah-nana-naa-nah…Not you, nor you, nor you can get this egg!” There is an anxious moment when the lions advance toward the three large birds, but at Ozzy’s “whistle” command, “the big birds buried their heads in the sand.” At Ozzy’s second signal, their heads come up, and they shout: “BOO!” The effect of this action is quite bizarre; the lions are so frightened that one “turned white,” the second “lost all of his fur,” and the last lion’s “teeth fell out.” There are more physical transformations in store, and the lions actually become friends with the ostriches, until three new lions appear. Who can save the friends from these new enemies? Humorous paintings, full of action and set in an imaginary African savanna, accompany a silly but rhythmic text that sometimes sounds like a folk tale. It is also available in Spanish as El Avestruz Mariluz.

An amusing trifle for those that like animal stories. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-84-945415-9-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: nubeOCHO

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 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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