An enjoyable piece that will entice readers back to the original tale (conveniently re-illustrated by Voake and publishing...

THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE OWL AND THE PUSSY-CAT

Newlyweds Owl and Pussy-cat are ready for another adventure in this continuation of Edward Lear’s classic poem.

Picking up the Owl and the Pussy-cat’s story immediately following their nuptials, Donaldson’s new tale involves a crow’s theft of the Pussy-cat’s wedding ring and the couple’s acquisition of a hot air balloon in which to search for the thief. Freedom from the narrative constraints of Lear’s original work enables her to maintain the style of his original verse while introducing a host of new characters, including a Pobble with no toes, glove-knitting Doves, and a Dong with a brightly shining Nose. Though not as well-defined as the original cast, the new additions are whimsically illustrated by Voake, whose ink-and-watercolor drawings aptly convey both the Owl’s and the Pussy-cat’s sorrow at losing the ring and their adventurous spirits during the journey to recover it. Best of all, her renderings of the protagonists highlight their abiding love. The endpapers in particular set the tone of the new story and express to readers the difference between initial romance and married love. Using only soft blue hues, she depicts the married couple in a heart surrounded by birds and balloons, indicating that their love is unvarying and soaring.

An enjoyable piece that will entice readers back to the original tale (conveniently re-illustrated by Voake and publishing simultaneously). (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9081-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

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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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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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