This week’s worth of yucky, rhyming fun (and giggles) is a pleaser.

OH NO! LOOK WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN

Grandma’s black cat collects some dreadful stuff.

The sibling protagonists say they like to stay with their grandmother…but her cat drags all things gross and frightful through the flap each night of the week. On Monday, there are bugs crawling all over the kitchen, as well as a hedgehog and an enormous, possibly dead, rat; Grandma is not pleased. “When we woke up on Tuesday, / got dressed and ran downstairs, / we found our troubled grandma tearing out her hair.” Now the cat’s brought in a bat, mice, lizards, ants, and some stranger’s underwear! On Wednesday when the kids come down, Grandma is “pointing at the kitchen and looking very grim. / ‘OH NO NO NO!’ she cried. / ‘Look what the CAT dragged in.’ ” Snakes, spiders, maggots, possibly dead birds, and a cheesed-off weasel—as well as a stranger’s laundry—have been added to the pile. On Saturday, the kids are just too scared to go into the kitchen, but Sunday brings a surprise: All is clean and normal….Grandma’s nailed up the cat flap and vowed the cat would stay in at night. Published in New Zealand in 2018, Davidson’s syncopated story of feline sneakiness will delight the youngest gross-out–loving crowd. The rhymed text almost begs to be sung, and Cooper’s exaggerated cartoon illustrations are expressive, silly, and satisfyingly ookie. The family presents white, and, refreshingly, this grandma is not gray-haired.

This week’s worth of yucky, rhyming fun (and giggles) is a pleaser. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-912904-60-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scribblers/Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

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THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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