A light spin on the “be careful what you wish for” theme.

HOW COULD A BEAR SLEEP HERE?

A bear in search of some shut-eye ends up with a day at the beach.

Shelby, an anthropomorphic brown bear, wants to sleep but is distracted by woodland noises. He searches for a quiet spot and ends up in what he thinks is “the PERFECT cave, deep, dark, and PEACEFUL, with no crunch-munching squirrels or tat-tatting birds,” but it’s actually the undercarriage of a passenger bus. The bus’s destination is a crowded beach, which Shelby finds just as noisy as the woods, whether he’s crouched under the boardwalk or seeking refuge in seagrass. The worst disruption comes at night when, while burrowed in an elaborate sand castle, Shelby is suddenly awoken by fireworks. His sleep is then interrupted at daybreak when he hears a “cub” crying—it’s a mewling orange kitten stranded on a piling. The bear swims out and rescues it, only to then be overwhelmed by news crews covering the story. He slinks off and then is delighted to find a bus that returns him to the woods where he began. The noises are still present, but odds and ends from his journey help him block them out and, finally, sleep. Throughout, the bright, cartoon-style art fills in details suggested by text, such as a swooping dragon kite that comes “SWISH-SWOOOOSH-FLAP-FLAP-FLAP[PING]” over seagrass. Although the setup has echoes of Margot Zemach’s It Could Always Be Worse, this tale lacks that classic’s folkloric compression.

A light spin on the “be careful what you wish for” theme. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3679-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits.

PLANTS FEED ME

This simplest of informational picture books offers a sensible, sunny celebration of the plants—specifically the parts of plants—that we eat.

The opening scene shows a boy seated at table surrounded by a rich harvest. He’s holding a watermelon rind that mirrors the wide grin he wears, helping to set the good-natured tone of the book. As preschoolers examine the pages, they will learn about the featured fruits and vegetables and how they grew. Warm gouache-and–colored-pencil illustrations first depict a garden where “Plants reach up for the sun. / They grow down in the ground.” As the narrator goes on to explain that “I eat different parts from different plants,” such as roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, flowers and seeds, youngsters will find labeled images to peruse. The short, declarative sentences are easily digested by the very youngest and will tempt burgeoning readers to test their skills. Best of all, children will surely be inspired to taste some of the produce the next time it appears on their plates.

Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits. (Informational picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2526-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.

NOISY TRACTOR

From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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