Like Daisy encouraging Digger to dive, this work is a welcoming invitation to read and a sweet encouragement to spend time...

READ REVIEW

DIGGER AND DAISY GO TO THE ZOO

From the Digger and Daisy series

In this early reader, a dog learns from his sister what he can and cannot do like other animals on a visit to the zoo.

It is a hot day, so Digger, a spirited pup, and his older sister, Daisy, decide to go to the zoo. “Digger and Daisy look at birds. They see big birds. They see little birds. / Red birds. Green birds. Yellow and blue birds, too.” There is a nice rhythm to that, and it’s accompanied by cartoony artwork that readers will relate to, since, despite its subtle sophistication and adept lines, they might fancy they could do the same. Digger tries to imitate a flamingo standing on one leg, and he tumbles over. His sister tells him that he can’t do that but that he can walk on two legs. On through the zoo. “I want to climb a tree,” says Digger, inspired by monkeys. No chance. But his sister reminds him that he can climb stairs, till they are eye to eye with the giraffe. When they spy the duck pond, Digger asks if he might go in. His sister concurs, but Digger balks, since he had failed so many times that day. But his sister encourages him, until he takes the plunge. It’s a lovely little tribute to sibling camaraderie.

Like Daisy encouraging Digger to dive, this work is a welcoming invitation to read and a sweet encouragement to spend time with siblings. (Early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58536-841-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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A lightweight fear-dispeller, without the gun violence that now makes Mercer Mayer’s There’s a Nightmare in My Closet (1968)...

MONSTERS AREN'T REAL

Beaten down by a ubiquitous chorus of denials (see title), a monster suffers an existential crisis.

Surrounded by emphatic claims that it doesn’t even exist, a monster sets out not only to prove the contrary, but to establish its scariness credentials too. Alas, neither blasting the world with graffiti and printed fliers nor rearing up menacingly over a baby in a carriage, children at the barre in a ballet class and other supposedly susceptible victims elicits any response. Juggling some cows attracts attention but not the terrified kind. But the monster’s final despairing surrender—“That’s it! It’s over! I give up! ... /  Monsters aren’t real (sniff)”—triggers an indignant denial of a different sort from a second, smaller but wilder-looking, creature. It takes the first in hand and leads it off, declaring “We’re two big, strong, scary monsters, and we’ll prove it.” In truth, it won’t escape even very young readers that neither is particularly scary-looking. Indeed, the protagonist-monster is depicted in the sparsely detailed cartoon illustrations as a furry, almost cuddly, bearlike hulk with light-blue spots, antlers and comically googly eyes, certain to provoke more giggles than screams.

A lightweight fear-dispeller, without the gun violence that now makes Mercer Mayer’s There’s a Nightmare in My Closet (1968) so discomfiting. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61067-073-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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Clear text, amusing illustrations, and a captivating easy-to-read story make this a winner for horse-loving emerging readers.

GOOD NIGHT, KNIGHT

From the I Like to Read series

Knight and Horse follow their dreams— literally.

Horse and Knight are exhausted when readers meet them, collapsing upon returning to their castle. But when Knight has a dream of golden cookies, he (or she—readers never see Knight with visor up) wakes the sleepy steed, and they go questing for the treasure. They look everywhere—hollow trees, the bushes, and a pond—only to find the cookies at home in a jar on the kitchen table. The loony plot and the spirited pen-and-ink–and-watercolor illustrations elevate this book above most for emerging readers. Knight’s metal suit, astonishingly, betrays emotions and energy level, whether tired, curious, or energized. (Even the armored feet look tired.) Watching Knight sleep with tush in the air will certainly elicit giggles from the youngest readers. Horse, too, is metal-clad, but its armor does not cover its skeptical eyes, allowing readers to laugh along while the near-asleep rider falls out of the saddle. Clear, readable typeface and familiar sight words are the order of the day. Repeated words (especially “good,” “night,” “horse,” “knight,” and “sleep”) punctuate the humorous story, making it easy to decode. When Horse has a dream of its own at the end, smiling readers will have no choice but to wonder where the pair are off to now.

Clear text, amusing illustrations, and a captivating easy-to-read story make this a winner for horse-loving emerging readers. (Early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3206-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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